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With J., Discussing Grammar in the Anarchist Coffee Shop, West Philadelphia

by Eleanor Stanford

There is only one kind
of sentence, you insist:
declarative. Meaning,
when you ask—our hands
conjugating each other
across the table—do you
love me, what you are saying
is you love me. Meaning,
the basic unit can only be
affirmative: the soft
gray rain fogging
the windows. Palm
on palm. Black coffee
in a small tin cup.


Eleanor Stanford is the author of two books of poems, Bartram’s Garden and The Book of Sleep (both from Carnegie Mellon University Press). Her poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, The Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She lives in the Philadelphia area. (8/2016)

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