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A Little Death in the World

by Beth Woodcome Platow

We found traces of the beginning.
You know what I mean.

If you don’t know what I mean, you will.
Your truth is only as real as mine is.

It was a fact, and not a feeling:
Water, life, and a thrump.

Can we prove happiness? I saw your note,
In the margins, that maybe there is a God.

Then it was gone,
And we could not measure
The distance or the volume
Of that particular loss.

If there were ever a truth, it would be this:
We don’t want to be crazy anymore.

We don’t have the heart for physics.
If it was here, then bring it back.


Beth Woodcome Platow’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Memorious, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. She received the Grolier Prize and the PEN/New England Discovery award. She holds an MFA from Bennington College, teaches at Berklee College of Music, and lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts. (9/2013)

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