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Sarah Hannah

11-25-2011

 

At Last, Fire Seen As a Psychotic Break

It begins in the crux of beam and insulation,
Behind the sepia portraits of ancestors
On the bedroom wall. A wire burns through
Its cloth sleeve, overwhelmed
By demands of modern current.

It splits into two antennae,
Two probes in close space.
A spark shoots and sows in a post,
Then it starts to race—
Hungry, reckless,

Through the dry skeleton of the house.
Go to the wall. Can you see it?
Every episode is different.
Will it burn a seam or hole
To reach the open air?

You have to evacuate the family, but no one
Wants to go. And when they are dead,
And you are contemplating
The sticks, the wheezing ashes,
The iron pots melted to pools on the lawn,

The authorities will say it was structural.
Now that you think of it,
There were warning signs, gestures:
A flaming toaster,
A persistent aggressiveness.

On the littered ground in hindsight
You devise solutions.
What if you’d paid it more attention,
Sworn off sleep, made tea—
Could you have quelled it?

What if you’d stood nightly by the wall,
Felt around for the heat,
Drawn a cold, wet cloth across the surface,
And, speaking soft words,
Held it?

 
             -from Longing Distance



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Kim Addonizio 03-14-08

 

Agha Shahid Ali 09-14-07

 

Alice Anderson 11-16-08

 

Renee Ashley 04-10-2010

 

Christianne Balk 07-27-07

 

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Carolyn Forche 09-21-07

 

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James Galvin 02-23-07

 

Margaret Gibson 01-24-10

 

Mary Jo Firth Gillett 02-22-08

 

Dana Gioia 08-23-2010

 

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Robert Grunst 11-16-07

 

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Elizabeth Hadaway 06-15-07

 

John Haines 11-01-2011

 

Donald Hall 02-10-07

 

Sarah Hannah 11-25-2011

 

Jeff Hardin 08-10-07

 

Elizabeth Haukaas 09-13-2011

 

Brooks Haxton 03-08-10

 

Seamus Heaney 09-11-09

 

Jamey Hecht 12-05-2010

 

Bob Hicok 10-25-2011

 

 

Andrew Hudgins 11-21-09

 

Lynda Hull 05-20-07

 

Henry Israeli 01-23-2011

 

Major Jackson 05-02-2010

 

Mark Jarman 10-19-08

 

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Barbara Jordan 02-02-09

 

Ilya Kaminsky 11-18-2011

 

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Brigit Pegeen Kelly 10-12-08

 

Jane Kenyon 04-01-07

 

Suji Kwock Kim 11-09-2011

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Galway Kinnell 11-09-07

 

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Eleanor Lerman 11-02-08

 

Larry Levis 04-04-08

 

Larry Levis 02-08-2010

 

Sandy Longhorn 04-26-08

 

Corey Marks 10-03-07

 

Adrian Matejka 04-18-08

 

Davis McCombs 01-18-08

 

Jeffrey McDaniel 10-08-2011

 

Michael McGriff 02-22-09

 

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Anne Michaels 01-18-09

 

Nils Michals 02-29-08

 

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Malena Morling 05-12-08

 

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Sharon Olds 02-22-07

 

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Michael Ondaatje 02-01-2010

 

Eric Pankey 09-07-07

 

Gregory Pardlo 06-22-07

 

Ed Pavlic 09-28-07

 

Oliver de la Paz 02-15-2010

 

Lucia Perillo 12-04-09

 

Catherine Pierce 04-18-2011

 

Donald Platt 02-15-08

 

Joshua Poteat 03-13-2011

 

Joshua Poteat 11-3-09

 

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Dean Rader 03-07-2011

 

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Robert Randolph 12-12-09

 

Adrienne Rich 04-20-2010

 

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David Roderick 12-07-07

 

Pattiann Rogers 3-21-08

 

Steve Scafidi 10-09-09

 

Jim Schley 10-19-09

 

Tim Seibles 10-08-07

 

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Dave Smith 04-10-09

 

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Frank Stanford 10-25-2010

 

Mark Strand 02-22-2010

 

Mark Svenvold 03-23-09

 

Robert Thomas 05-03-2011

 

Brian Turner 05-13-07

 

Joshua Vinzant 01-30-2011

 

Tribute to Virginia Tech 04-24-07

 

Connie Voisine 10-1-2011

 

Charles Harper Webb 10-12-07

 

David Wevill 03-27-2011

 

C.K. Williams 05-25-07

 

Susan B.A. Somers-Willett 06-29-07

 

Charles Wright 01-27-07

 

Robert Wrigley 10-11-2010

 

Robert Wrigley 08-17-07

 

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