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Poetry

Nancy White

Nancy White’s work appears in journals such as FIELD, Ploughshares, and New Letters. Her three poetry collections are Sun, Moon, Salt (winner of the Washington Prize), Detour, and Ask Again Later. She teaches at SUNY Adirondack and serves as president of The Word Works in Washington, D.C.

EVERYONE FORGETS THE PAIN

no one told me
it was a trip to mars
that gravity crushes
and the cold eats you
whole and only stone
/ice and you can’t
breathe and every cell
tears itself
inside out
and again crushed
and frozen (again)
inside out (again and again)
and then he cries then
walks then runs then
calls a girl to say
he loves her then hangs
up runs out the door

SHE’S THE EXCEPTION

obey the rule
and the knock of heel on stair
and fail to drive away
and fail to stay
be the open door and closed
the willow leaning into its shakedown of pollen
and clocktick sinkdrip floor and its creak
be the one the one time

and that’s a lie isn’t it
but every many’s still just one
an old hammer leans on the sill
old porch leans on the house
old house leans on the hill
reaches its silence
we become one kind of one
and also others

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