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That First Time


by Sam Rasnake


            “like a relic of a holy swim”

                                    — Frank Stanford

 

Hearing you read these words,

your breath displacing like water

everything I'd learned, your voice

exactly what I imagine the deep

 

walls of space must have felt when

God spoke the first time in a language

completely new and ancient, like

a fence post leaning toward creek

 

bank, tiny fish in a shimmer against

cool stone, wind in magnolia leaves

a gift for the sun to ease itself into

while a chorus of cicadas remind

 

the world of its dark beauty and

summer of its rest, like thread

slipped to the tongue by determined

fingers before being pressed through

 

the needle's eye, the sleeve's tear

waiting for loops to make it whole,

for my life to unwind itself like

a spool left in a closed drawer

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