By Katherine Soniat
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Additional resources for A shared life: poems
I needed to touch something, and suddenly there you were. There we were with the birds dropping down a thousand feet into spring, that place named for the future. Each high note of exaltation is sloughed off as some distant troubadour's outdated posturing. They'll ride the air down, testing the strength of forever, their time between bridge and rapid water. The coffeehouse empties except for one student at the next table; head bent, she holds The Fine Art of Torture. She hears nothing of wedding brass, and on my oak table I see no hearts carved, but a swastika sliced in wood.
Cold my fathering weather. Page 61 <><><><><><><><><><><><> A man hesitates in a field, reluctant to go farther than what he knows. In the starlight he senses something he never could get to, and murmurs another September, just what we all need. His son stares up at him, then out at the cold distances to the stars, marks this as memory. L. Page 63 FOUR Page 65 Primer I had a dream in winter, sad thoughts with one mountain, trees, and two animals. I walked out on a gray and white cliff, not thinking of those days with you, until the view turned treacherous all that space beyond the edge, fog or smoke rising up.
54 dc2093-13695 CIP 97 96 95 94 93 P 5 4 3 2 1 Page v For Rick, and for Catawba Page vii Since the wild animal's back now is your shoulder, And since the miracle of not-being is finished, Start then, poet, a song at the edge of it all To death, to silence, and to what does not return. Antônio Machado Page ix CONTENTS One Right Here, 3 The Future, 4 Fortune, 5 Domestication, 7 What We Keep, 8 Telling Time, 9 Oranges and Rum at Noon, 11 Balboa in Spring, 12 Some Vegetables and Stars, 13 Story Line, 14 Water Translation, 15 Desire, 17 Two Janus in Autumn, 21 Gifts, 22 Making Ghosts, 24 In a Dark Country Night, 25 Last Song, 27 Mount View Pure, 28 Other People's Houses, 30 Item, 33 Graffiti, 34 Learning in Time, 35 A Square in Mozambique, 36 A Comparable Season, 39 Three Routing the Maps Home, 43 The Next Day, 45 Deer Season Again, 46 Taking Possession, 48 Crivelli's Pietà Angel, 49 Full Grown, 51 A Short History of Stray Bullets, 52 Diminutives, 54 Two Daughters, 56 War, 58 Marks of Light, 59 Four Primer, 65 Free-falling, 66 Rhapsody, 68 From a Vantage Point Overlooking the Battle of Hanging Rock, 69 Rings, 71 Distance and Design, 73 Daughter, 74 Primary Motif, 75 Prediction, 76 Shame, 77 Page x Five Terrestrial, 81 October Bestiary, 82 Think about It, 84 Bedside Story, 86 Santa Rosa Island, 87 Wanting It, 88 Harboring, 89 Secrets about Nothing, 91 In Spite of Forgetting, 93 The Springhouse, 96 A Shared Life, 97 Page xi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many thanks to the editors of the following journals in which these poems first appeared.
A shared life: poems by Katherine Soniat