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Last Words

by Chris Forhan


The night sky’s a black stretch limo, boss in the back
behind tinted glass. You could say that.

Down here’s a dungeon, up there’s the glittering
ring of keys in the sentry’s fist. The self

exists. Beauty too. But they’re elsewhere.
You could say that. Or not speak till commanded to.

Dawn, alone on the porch, I watch
the one map unfold and flatten before me—

same toppled TV antenna in the berry vines,
same cardinal, bright wound in the pasture grass.

My wound is my business. I’ve wearied of it.
From now on, morning will be attended

by its own noises only, evening will approach
without palms in its path. Let the horses

steam in the field, the sun-struck
river blanch. I’m boarding the troop train.


Chris Forhan
is the author of The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars, which won the Morse Poetry Prize, and Forgive Us Our Happiness, which won the Bakeless Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, New England Review, Parnassus, and other magazines. He teaches at Auburn University.


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