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Holding On

Written by: Philip Levine | Biography
 Green fingers 
holding the hillside, 
mustard whipping in 
the sea winds, one blood-bright 
poppy breathing in 
and out. The odor 
of Spanish earth comes 
up to me, yellowed 
with my own piss. 
 40 miles from Málaga 
half the world away 
from home, I am home and 
nowhere, a man who envies 
grass. 
 Two oxen browse 
yoked together in the green clearing 
below. Their bells cough. When 
the darkness and the wet roll in 
at dusk they gather 
their great slow bodies toward 
the stalls. 
 If my spirit 
descended now, it would be 
a lost gull flaring against 
a deepening hillside, or an angel 
who cries too easily, or a single 
glass of seawater, no longer blue 
or mysterious, and still salty.



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