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Want

8:04am | Sep 17th, 2011

She wants a house full of cups and the ghosts

of last century’s lesbians; I want a spotless

apartment, a fast computer. She wants a woodstove,

three cords of ash, an axe; I want

a clean gas flame. She wants a row of jars:

oats, coriander, thick green oil;

I want nothing to store. She wants pomanders,

linens, baby quilts, scrapbooks. She wants Wellesley

reunions. I want gleaming floorboards, the river’s

reflection. She wants shrimp and sweat and salt;

she wants chocolate. I want a raku bowl,

steam rising from rice. She wants goats,

chickens, children. Feeding and weeping. I want

wind from the river freshening cleared rooms.

She wants birthdays, theaters, flags, peonies.

I want words like lasers. She wants a mother’s

tenderness. Touch ancient as the river.

I want a woman’s wit swift as a fox.

She’s in her city, meeting

her deadline; I’m in my mill village out late

with the dog, listening to the pinging wind bells, thinking

of the twelve years of wanting, apart and together.

We’ve kissed all weekend; we want

to drive the hundred miles and try it again.

~by Joan Larkin

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