‘Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface’

I had a dream that there were ten of you and we lived in a duplex overlooking the river. It was the only nice part of town. I wanted to make ten of you happy, but it was difficult and mostly I felt like I was letting at least eight of you down. Even though the ten of you were exactly you and exactly the same, you cannot stroke ten people’s hair and tell them they are good, they are so good, and oh the divergent seconds where lived experience changed you. Even the inanities, I love what you’ve done to your hair. Is that a new top? Could you just shift over a little? I didn’t think I was up to the job. So this is a job for you? I don’t want to make any special claims here: nobody ever walked down to a river without at least considering taking a dive. We only owned nine mugs, for instance, and it only struck me years later, snow-fishing in a void I’d learned to wrap around myself, how easy it would have been for me to do something about that.

From Notes on the Sonnets. Reproduced with kind permission of Penned in the Margin.

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