Together

T
God Speaks to the Soul by Mechthild of Magdeburg
Mechthild of Magdeburg
God speaks to the soul
And God said to the soul:
I desired you before the world began.
I desire you now
As you desire me.
And where the desires of two come together
There love is perfected.


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Happiness by Raymond Carver
Raymond Carver
So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
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Lincoln Theatre by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
The head of Lincoln looks down from the wall
While movies echo dramas on the screen.
The head of Lincoln is serenely tall
Above a crowd of black folk, humble, mean.
The movies end. The lights flash gaily on.
The band down in the pit bursts into jazz.
The crowd applauds a plump brown-skin bleached
blonde
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On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Then Almitra spoke again and said, And
what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you
shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white
wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the
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Words for Departure by Louise Bogan
Louise Bogan
Nothing was remembered, nothing forgotten.
When we awoke, wagons were passing on the warm summer
pavements,
The window-sills were wet from rain in the night,
Birds scattered and settled over chimneypots
As among grotesque trees.

Nothing was accepted, nothing looked beyond.
Slight-voiced bells separated hour from hour,
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A Triad by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
Three sang of love together: one with lips
Crimson, with cheeks and bosom in a glow,
Flushed to the yellow hair and finger tips;
And one there sang who soft and smooth as snow
Bloomed like a tinted hyacinth at a show;
And one was blue with famine after love,
Who like a harpstring snapped rang harsh and low
The burden of what those were singing of.
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Defeat by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
And sweeter to my heart than all world-glory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
And in you I have found aloneness
And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
And to be understood is to be leveled down,
And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness
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The Great Longing by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea.

We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together
is deep and strong and strange. Nay, it is deeper than my sister’s
depth and stronger than my brother’s strength, and stranger than
the strangeness of my madness.

Aeons upon aeons have passed since the first grey dawn made us
visible to one another; and though we have seen the birth and the
fullness and the death of many worlds, we are still eager and young.

We are young and eager and yet we are mateless and unvisited, and
though we lie in unbroken half embrace, we are uncomforted. And
what comfort is there for controlled desire and unspent passion?
Whence shall come the flaming god to warm my sister’s bed? And
what she-torrent shall quench my brother’s fire? And who is the
woman that shall command my heart?

In the stillness of the night my sister murmurs in her sleep the
fire-god’s unknown name, and my brother calls afar upon the cool
and distant goddess. But upon whom I call in my sleep I know not.

* * *

Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea.
We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together
is deep and strong and strange.
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When My Sorrow Was Born by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
When my Sorrow was born I nursed it with care, and watched over it
with loving tenderness.

And my Sorrow grew like all living things, strong and beautiful
and full of wondrous delights.

And we loved one another, my Sorrow and I, and we loved the world
about us; for Sorrow had a kindly heart and mine was kindly with
Sorrow.

And when we conversed, my Sorrow and I, our days were winged and
our nights were girdled with dreams; for Sorrow had an eloquent
tongue, and mine was eloquent with Sorrow.

And when we sang together, my Sorrow and I, our neighbors sat at
their windows and listened; for our songs were deep as the sea and
our melodies were full of strange memories.

And when we walked together, my Sorrow and I, people gazed at us
with gentle eyes and whispered in words of exceeding sweetness.
And there were those who looked with envy upon us, for Sorrow was
a noble thing and I was proud with Sorrow.

But my Sorrow died, like all living things, and alone I am left to
muse and ponder.

And now when I speak my words fall heavily upon my ears.

And when I sing my songs my neighbours come not to listen.

And when I walk the streets no one looks at me.

Only in my sleep I hear voices saying in pity, “See, there lies
the man whose Sorrow is dead.”
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The Regal Eagle by Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen
The regal eagle sits alone
upon a tree that serves as throne.
But sometimes when the eagle flies
(though this might come as some surprise)
a mob of crows may—wing to wing—
together drive away that king.
Democracy in beak and claw
finds regal eagle's fatal flaw.
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An Old-Fashioned Song by John Hollander
John Hollander
(Nous n'irons plus au bois) No more walks in the wood:
The trees have all been cut
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from The Indigo Glass in the Grass by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
Which is real—
This bottle of indigo glass in the grass,
Or the bench with the pot of geraniums, the stained mattress and the washed overalls drying in the sun?
Which of these truly contains the world?

Neither one, nor the two together.
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After-Glow by Ivor Gurney
Ivor Gurney

(To F. W. Harvey) Out of the smoke and dust of the little room
With tea-talk loud and laughter of happy boys,
I passed into the dusk. Suddenly the noise
Ceased with a shock, left me alone in the gloom,
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Cock-Crow by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Out of the wood of thoughts that grows by night
To be cut down by the sharp axe of light,—
Out of the night, two cocks together crow,
Cleaving the darkness with a silver blow:
And bright before my eyes twin trumpeters stand,
Heralds of splendour, one at either hand,
Each facing each as in a coat of arms:
The milkers lace their boots up at the farms.
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Sonnet 13 by John Berryman
John Berryman
I lift—lift you five States away your glass,
Wide of this bar you never graced, where none
Ever I know came, where what work is done
Even by these men I know not, where a brass
Police-car sign peers in, wet strange cars pass,
Soiled hangs the rag of day out over this town,
A juke-box brains air where I drink alone,
The spruce barkeep sports a toupee alas—
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Idea 37: Dear, why should you command me to my rest by Michael Drayton
Michael Drayton

Dear, why should you command me to my rest
When now the night doth summon all to sleep?
Methinks this time becometh lovers best;
Night was ordain'd together friends to keep.
How happy are all other living things
Which, though the day disjoin by sev'ral flight,
The quiet ev'ning yet together brings,
And each returns unto his love at night!
O thou that art so courteous else to all,
Why should'st thou, Night, abuse me only thus,
That ev'ry creature to his kind dost call,
And yet 'tis thou dost only sever us?
Well could I wish it would be ever day,
If when night comes you bid me go away.
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Believe, Believe by Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman
Believe in this. Young apple seeds,
In blue skies, radiating young breast,
Not in blue-suited insects,
Infesting society’s garments.

Believe in the swinging sounds of jazz,
Tearing the night into intricate shreds,
Putting it back together again,
In cool logical patterns,
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The Fall Returns by Clark Coolidge
Clark Coolidge
the rooms are chosen, then they move on
the beads are wetted in the lime
the weedlot boils in the blood of one eye
the children first are cankered then they spin


there are not routes, only dials
the rocks are spun together in one ball
the laundry is of rust, the pillow shrieks
pianos all blow northward and return
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The Beginning of Speech by Adonis
Adonis
The child I was came to me
once,
a strange face
He said nothing We walked
each of us glancing at the other in silence, our steps
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An Exercise in Love by Diane di Prima
Diane di Prima
for Jackson Allen My friend wears my scarf at his waist
I give him moonstones
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April Love by Ernest Dowson
Ernest Dowson
We have walked in Love's land a little way,
We have learnt his lesson a little while,
And shall we not part at the end of day,
With a sigh, a smile?
A little while in the shine of the sun,
We were twined together, joined lips, forgot
How the shadows fall when the day is done,
And when Love is not.
We have made no vows--there will none be broke,
Our love was free as the wind on the hill,
There was no word said we need wish unspoke,
We have wrought no ill.
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April Midnight by Arthur Symons
Arthur Symons
Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

Roaming together under the gaslight,
Day’s work over,
How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,
Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!
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A poem for vipers by John Wieners
John Wieners
I sit in Lees. At 11:40 PM with
Jimmy the pusher. He teaches me
Ju Ju. Hot on the table before us
shrimp foo yong, rice and mushroom
chow yuke. Up the street under the wheels
of a strange car is his stash—The ritual.
We make it. And have made it.
For months now together after midnight.
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The Mystery of the Hunt by Michael McClure
Michael McClure
It’s the mystery of the hunt that intrigues me,
That drives us like lemmings, but cautiously—
The search for a bright square cloud—the scent of lemon verbena—
Or to learn rules for the game the sea otters
Play in the surf.

It is these small things—and the secret behind them
That fill the heart.
The pattern, the spirit, the fiery demon
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The Wealth of the Destitute by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
How gray and hard the brown feet of the wretched of the earth.
How confidently the crippled from birth
push themselves through the streets, deep in their lives.
How seamed with lines of fate the hands
of women who sit at streetcorners
offering seeds and flowers.
How lively their conversation together.
How much of death they know.
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Love Song for Alex, 1979 by Margaret Walker
Margaret Walker
My monkey-wrench man is my sweet patootie;
the lover of my life, my youth and age.
My heart belongs to him and to him only;
the children of my flesh are his and bear his rage
Now grown to years advancing through the dozens
the honeyed kiss, the lips of wine and fire
fade blissfully into the distant years of yonder
but all my days of Happiness and wonder
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Sanoe by Queen Lydia Kamakaeha Lili’uokalani
Queen Lydia Kamakaeha Lili’uokalani
Listen, Sanoe
Dewy lehua bud
Here I am
Waiting for your voice.

The answer comes
I am satisfied
Softly, sweetheart
You excite my whole being.

My body is waiting
Waiting there in yearning belief
How are we to fulfill
The desire of our thoughts?

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Ode on Solitude by Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

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from Light: “It’s very strange” by Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen
It’s very strange
the eggs are everywhere

There must be some mistake
the eggs are so close together

There seems to be no room for us
Push the eggs closer together

It’s impossible
We must get closer together
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If It Should Ever Come by Edward Dorn
Edward Dorn
And we are all there together
time will wave as willows do
and adios will be truly, yes,

laughing at what is forgotten
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The Mayor of Scuttleton by Mary Mapes Dodge
Mary Mapes Dodge
The Mayor of Scuttleton burned his nose
Trying to warm his copper toes;
He lost his money and spoiled his will
By signing his name with an icicle-quill;
He went bare-headed, and held his breath,
And frightened his grandame most to death;
He loaded a shovel, and tried to shoot,
And killed the calf in the leg of his boot;
He melted a snow-bird, and formed the habit
Of dancing jigs with a sad Welsh rabbit;
He lived on taffy, and taxed the town;
And read his newspaper upside down;
Then he sighed, and hung his hat on a feather,
And bade the townspeople come together;
But the worst of it all was, nobody knew
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Marching by Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
At dawn I heard among bird calls
the billions of marching feet in the churn
and squeak of gravel, even tiny feet
still wet from the mother's amniotic fluid,
and very old halting feet, the feet
of the very light and very heavy, all marching
but not together, criss-crossing at every angle
with sincere attempts not to touch, not to bump
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They Sit Together on the Porch by Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry
They sit together on the porch, the dark
Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.
Their supper done with, they have washed and dried
The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses,
Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.
She sits with her hands folded in her lap,
At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,
And when they speak at last it is to say
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to where by David Ferry
David Ferry
Wearing a tawny lion pelt upon
My spindly shoulders I carry both of them,
My father and my mother, into the darkness,
My father hoarsely singing, “They are there!”
—The glimmer of something that is glimmering there—
“I see the glow of weapons in the shadows!”
Through which with my purblind eyes I think I see
Something in the darkness waiting there.
Above me in the dark my mother’s voice
Calls down to me, “Who’s there? Who is it there?”
Step after step together we make our way,
In the darkness of my memory of our house.
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Adam's Curse by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
We sat together at one summer’s end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, ‘A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
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The Flower by George Herbert
George Herbert
How fresh, oh Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns! even as the flowers in spring;
To which, besides their own demean,
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.
Grief melts away
Like snow in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.

Who would have thought my shriveled heart
Could have recovered greenness? It was gone
Quite underground; as flowers depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown,
Where they together
All the hard weather,
Dead to the world, keep house unknown.
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For No Clear Reason by Robert Creeley
Robert Creeley
I dreamt last night
the fright was over, that
the dust came, and then water,
and women and men, together
again, and all was quiet
in the dim moon’s light.

A paean of such patience—
laughing, laughing at me,
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The Garden by Mark Strand
Mark Strand
for Robert Penn Warren It shines in the garden,
in the white foliage of the chestnut tree,
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Genesis by Ruth Stone
Ruth Stone
Cylinder sacks of water filling the oceans,
endless bullets of water,
skins full of water rolling and tumbling
as we came together.
As though light broke us apart.
As though light came with the rubble of words,
though we die among the husks of remembering.
It is as we knew it would be
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A Glimpse by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand,
A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.

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In These Soft Trinities by Patricia Goedicke
Patricia Goedicke
Whenever I see two women
crowned, constellated friends

it is as if three birch trees wept together
in a field by a constant spring.

The third woman isn’t there

exactly, but just before them a flame
bursts out, then disappears

in a blurred, electric shining
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Large Intestine by Anna Swir
Anna Swir
Look in the mirror. Let us both look.
Here is my naked body.
Apparently you like it,
I have no reason to.
Who bound us, me and my body?
Why must I die
together with it?
I have the right to know where the borderline
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Life Story by Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
After you've been to bed together for the first time,
without the advantage or disadvantage of any prior acquaintance,
the other party very often says to you,
Tell me about yourself, I want to know all about you,
what's your story? And you think maybe they really and truly do

sincerely want to know your life story, and so you light up
a cigarette and begin to tell it to them, the two of you
lying together in completely relaxed positions
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Look to the Future by Ruth Stone
Ruth Stone
To you born into violence,
the wars of the red ant are nothing;
you, in the heart of the eruption.

I am speaking from immeasurable grass blades.
You, there on the rubble,
what is the river of vapor to you?

You who are helpless as small birds
downed on the ice pack.
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A Maul for Bill and Cindy’s Wedding by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
Swung from the toes out,
Belly-breath riding on the knuckles,
The ten-pound maul lifts up,
Sails in an arc overhead,
And then lifts you!

It floats, you float,
For an instant of clear far sight—
Eye on the crack in the end-grain
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Near Helikon by Trumbull Stickney
Trumbull Stickney
By such an all-embalming summer day
As sweetens now among the mountain pines
Down to the cornland yonder and the vines,
To where the sky and sea are mixed in gray,
How do all things together take their way
Harmonious to the harvest, bringing wines
And bread and light and whatsoe’er combines
In the large wreath to make it round and gay.
To me my troubled life doth now appear
Like scarce distinguishable summits hung
Around the blue horizon: places where
Not even a traveller purposeth to steer,—
Whereof a migrant bird in passing sung,
And the girl closed her window not to hear.
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from Odes: 14. Gin the Goodwife Stint by Basil Bunting
Basil Bunting
The ploughland has gone to bent
and the pasture to heather;
gin the goodwife stint,
she’ll keep the house together.

Gin the goodwife stint
and the bairns hunger
the Duke can get his rent
one year longer.
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Retired Ballerinas, Central Park West by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons
walking their dogs
in Central Park West
(or their cats on leashes—
the cats themselves old highwire artists)
The ballerinas
leap and pirouette
through Columbus Circle
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Sand Flesh and Sky by Clarence Major
Clarence Major
Our ropes are the roots
of our life. We fish
low in the earth,
the river beneath runs through our veins,
blue and cold in a riverbed.

When the sun comes up,
the moon moves slowly to the left.

I tie the logs and limbs together,
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Seaman’s Ditty by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
I’m wondering where you are now
Married, or mad, or free:
Wherever you are you’re likely glad,
But memory troubles me.

We could’ve had us children,
We could’ve had a home—
But you thought not, and I thought not,
And these nine years we roam.
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Self-Portrait by Robert Creeley
Robert Creeley
He wants to be
a brutal old man,
an aggressive old man,
as dull, as brutal
as the emptiness around him,

He doesn’t want compromise,
nor to be ever nice
to anyone. Just mean,
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Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree by George Starbuck
George Starbuck
* O fury- bedecked! O glitter-torn! Let the wild wind erect bonbonbonanzas; junipers affect frostyfreeze turbans; iciclestuff adorn
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Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain by Li Bai
Li Bai
The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
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Benjamin Pantier by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Together in this grave lie Benjamin Pantier, attorney at law,
And Nig, his dog, constant companion, solace and friend.
Down the gray road, friends, children, men and women,
Passing one by one out of life, left me till I was alone
With Nig for partner, bed-fellow, comrade in drink.
In the morning of life I knew aspiration and saw glory.
Then she, who survives me, snared my soul
With a snare which bled me to death,
Till I, once strong of will, lay broken, indifferent,
Living with Nig in a room back of a dingy office.
Under my jaw-bone is snuggled the bony nose of Nig —
Our story is lost in silence. Go by, mad world!

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For Instance by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
A boy came up the street and there was a girl.
"Hello," they said in passing, then didn’t pass.
They began to imagine. They imagined all night
and woke imagining what the other imagined.
Later they woke with no need to imagine.
They were together. They kept waking together.
Once they woke a daughter who got up
and went looking for something without looking back.
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the garden of delight by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
for some
it is stone
bare smooth
as a buttock
rounding
into the crevasse
of the world

for some
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The Goose Fish by Howard Nemerov
Howard Nemerov
On the long shore, lit by the moon
To show them properly alone,
Two lovers suddenly embraced
So that their shadows were as one.
The ordinary night was graced
For them by the swift tide of blood
That silently they took at flood,
And for a little time they prized
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Half an Hour by Jean Valentine
Jean Valentine
Hurt, hurtful, snake-charmed,
struck white together half an hour we tear
through the half-dark after

some sweet core,
under, over gravity,
some white shore ...

spin, hidden one, spin,
trusted to me! laugh sore tooth
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In the Museum at Teheran by James Laughlin
James Laughlin
a sentimental curator has placed
two fragments of bronze Grecian
heads together boy

and girl so that the faces black-
ened by the three thousand years of
desert sand & sun

seem to be whispering something
that the Gurgan lion & the wing-
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A Leave-Taking by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Let us go hence, my songs; she will not hear.
Let us go hence together without fear;
Keep silence now, for singing-time is over,
And over all old things and all things dear.
She loves not you nor me as all we love her.
Yea, though we sang as angels in her ear,
She would not hear.

Let us rise up and part; she will not know.
Let us go seaward as the great winds go,
Full of blown sand and foam; what help is here?
There is no help, for all these things are so,
And all the world is bitter as a tear.
And how these things are, though ye strove to show,
She would not know.
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Love (I) by George Herbert
George Herbert
Immortal Love, author of this great frame,
Sprung from that beauty which can never fade,
How hath man parcel'd out Thy glorious name,
And thrown it on that dust which Thou hast made,
While mortal love doth all the title gain!
Which siding with Invention, they together
Bear all the sway, possessing heart and brain,
(Thy workmanship) and give Thee share in neither.
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O Best of All Nights, Return and Return Again by James Laughlin
James Laughlin
How she let her long hair down over her shoulders, making a love cave around her face. Return and return again.
How when the lamplight was lowered she pressed against him, twining her fingers in his. Return and return again.
How their legs swam together like dolphins and their toes played like little tunnies. Return and return again.
How she sat beside him cross-legged, telling him stories of her childhood. Return and return again.
How she closed her eyes when his were open, how they breathed together, breathing each other. Return and return again.
How they fell into slumber, their bodies curled together like two spoons. Return and return again.
How they went together to Otherwhere, the fairest land they had ever seen. Return and return again.
O best of all nights, return and return again.
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An Old Road by Edwin Markham
Edwin Markham
A host of poppies, a flight of swallows;
A flurry of rain, and a wind that follows
Shepherds the leaves in the sheltered hollows
For the forest is shaken and thinned.

Over my head are the firs for rafter;
The crows blow south, and my heart goes after;
I kiss my hands to the world with laughter—
Is it Aidenn or mystical Ind?
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Photographs by Barbara Guest
Barbara Guest
In the past we listened to photographs. They heard our voice speak.
Alive, active. What had been distance was memory. Dusk came,
Pushed us forward,emptying the laboratoryeach night undisturbed by
Erasure.

In the city of X, they lived together. Always morose, her lips
soothed him. The piano was arranged in the old manner, light entered the
window, street lamps at the single tree.

Emotion evoked by a single light on a subject is not transferable to
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Recreation by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
Coming together
it is easier to work
after our bodies
meet
paper and pen
neither care nor profit
whether we write or not
but as your body moves
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Song by Sophie Jewett
Sophie Jewett
“O Love, thou art winged and swift,
Yet stay with me evermore!”
And I guarded my house with bolt and bar
Lest Love fly forth at the door.

Without, in the world, ’t was cold,
While Love and I together
Laughed and sang by my red hearth-fire,
Nor knew it was winter weather.
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Song of Three Smiles by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
Let me call a ghost,
Love, so it be little:
In December we took
No thought for the weather.

Whom now shall I thank
For this wealth of water?
Your heart loves harbors
Where I am a stranger.
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There was an Old Person of Nice by Edward Lear
Edward Lear

There was an old person of Nice,
Whose associates were usually Geese.
They walked out together, in all sorts of weather.
That affable person of Nice!

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32
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To Daffodils by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
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The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
Before I came to view the levelled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, as he had been,—alone,
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