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Sadness, After Li-Shang

Peter Shippy

Sunset erases pledges
and her footprints. The snow-twitch slants

the orange roof slats.
The third watch bell complains, here

in Syracuse. My wife’s devotion
is far-flung. She has chosen

the pug-faced flowers of our rank
village, her brother’s gossip,

the barn cats that left dead jays
on her yellow porch,

her mother’s gravestone,
and her father’s dull jokes

over the glam of my posting.

I choose to finish this envoi
in hare blood which will thicken

as it falls from the Jim Brown Bridge
and into the salmon’s mouth.

Peter Shippy

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