How Do We Not

Death

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The reverse side also has a reverse side – Japanese proverb

It’s why when we speak a truth
some of us instantly feel foolish
as if a deck inside us has been shuffled
and there it is – the opposite
of what we said.

And perhaps why as we fall in love
we’re already falling out of it.

It’s why the terrified and the simple
latch onto one story,
just one version of the great mystery.

Image & afterimage, oh even
the open-minded yearn for a fiction
to reign things in –
the snapshot, the lie of the frame.

How do we not go crazy,
we who have found ourselves compelled
to live with the circle, the ellipsis, the word
not yet written.

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“The Reverse Side” by Stephen Dunn
What Goes On: New & Selected Poems

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