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The Remains

 I empty myself of the names of others.
I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
At night I turn back the clocks; I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.
What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
I say my own name.
I say goodbye.
The words follow each other downwind.
I love my wife but send her away.
My parents rise out of their thrones into the milky rooms of clouds.
How can I sing? Time tells me what I am.
I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.

by Mark Strand
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