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Holding On

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Written by Philip Levine

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 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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