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On Falling in Love Again

                                    Erin Elizabeth Smith

I don’t know how to write
love poems anymore, the split heart

of an artichoke no longer so pink
but full of leaves turned deadly

in their charm.  Now when the stories
should begin with something

a stringed orchestra
might tell, I reach into the pockets

of men who painted maps,
fables of white magnolias

pouring a Mississippi spring.
Those who made the seasons

long with promises
at restaurant tables spread

with soft-shelled mollusks,
bourbon-mouthed cherries. Here,

in our house, you light fires
from the seasoned wood

before you put yourself into the white
of our bed.  The strange sea

of sheets that always waits,
while I eat at the evening

trying to be a woman
who knows how

to make what you call ours
our own.

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