James Hoch


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In the oldest stories, a snake eats its tail,
a savage peeks his head out of a socket
of ruin, a boat returns with no crew,
and death makes us back into ether.
There seems no room for other versions.
A couple in the middle of rush hour
step out of their car and leap off a bridge,
only to hit a catwalk a few feet below.
And in the abrupt joy, when they crack
a heap of ribs, dodge the arc of tragedy,
they turn, laugh, then nudge each other
over the side. This time they congrue.
They become what we expect. Love,
shouldn’t we achieve a thing as clean?
In our garden of unfinished beds,
half-believing the half-empty,
it looks like we’re falling together;
it looks like we’re treading water.

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