Fade Out

The Threepenny Review

Fade Out

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The flashlight my sister swept
across the heavens got no response
either. When my brother leaves his lab,
he’s still limping and our governor’s demanding
funerals for aborted fetuses and where’s
a fetus gonna get the scratch for that?
So yes, there are dark shapes in doorways.
Can’t be helped. Today, I found a chunk
of amethyst with a face inside you could tell
was willing to wait a another million years
for its scream to come out so let that
be a lesson. Ditto the same cuckoo
that followed Tomaz out of China
tries to follow me but gets slapped back
in security and I don’t
just don’t. Maybe Jay’s right that it all
comes down to one untranslatable
fragment of Parmenides. Like when
a dead child is covered with petals
or a goat receives a garland of bells.
It’s a thin red thread that holds
the soul to the earth. Visibility
is a disguise.

—Dean Young

Dean Young holds the William Livingston Chair in Poetry at the University of Texas, Austin.


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