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Ars Poetica

The poets of certitude use words I'd like to use:

Meanwhile, at 7 a.m., eleven floors below, the man at the flower store
wears a black coat against the chill. Out go the pots on the sidewalk:
roses, probably; certainly daffodils,
as it is spring.
Every morning, the same task: I watch him closely.
Not once does he look up.
the ordinary kind, noted
as an afterthought,
if at all.



1 A little shaky, I sit in the subway car, watching a woman read. Slowing my breath to match hers, we travel together under the earth. 2 A man in a business suit, my age, gray hair, working his Blackberry- hunched over, newspaper balanced on one knee, head bowed as if in prayer: brother, should we cry? Laugh? 3 A woman sleeps next to me. What luck to see loneliness given rest. 4 "It's coming so fast," says an old woman across from me, speaking to no one in particular: she nods her head in agreement with herself and strictly speaking who can argue with her?


Be Careful,

or your fears will chase off the redwing blackbirds who live in the tall grasses by the path near the fake dairy. You will be so alone.

Jim Moore is the author of seven books of poetry, including Invisible Strings and Lightning at Dinner. His poetry has appeared in Sleet Magazine, The New Yorker, The Nation, and The Paris Review. He is married to renowned photographer JoAnn Verburg and lives in Minneapolis and Spoleto, Italy.

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