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In the Literal Discourse of Poetry

Peter Cooley

In balance: the perfection of the world
So long as I am sleeping. When I wake
There’s always the vast dark before the dawn.
Mind you: I’m not talking in metaphor.
These are the clichés of my poetry.
I’d call that dark imagination’s light:
There’s nothing in it but what I make up.
Oh, there are constellations and the moon
And, on my best mornings, other planets.
But most of what I see is only mine
While I give it away, talking to you.

I never knew my post and lintel words
Could lift, that I might raise an arch and walk
Straight through, doorway opening on doorway
Until I first put my breath on a line
Breathing into Adam the breath of life--
Adam there, Adam here, a living soul
And Eve, the garden, and the snake, the fall,
All possibilities we’d lost redeemed.

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