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Wednesday May 24, 2017
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Cleopatra Mathis



death of one particular friend becomes the inconsolable dark heart of the book. In the long poem "Called Back," she describes that friend's illness and death. "When she understood she'd entered another country, / crossed the chasm between illness and health, / well-being now forever on the other side," she assumed that intense inward gaze so many of us have noticed while watching the slow deaths of those we love. "The fact of dying took up every space, all her weight / belonged to it, all her self in its service." In a later poem, the poet continues to refuse the usual sympathies:

We'll call this dying: the soul
fumbles out of the dark room into
the darker
hallway, almost feeling its way as it
from the body's time and space.

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