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San Sepolcro

 In this blue light
 I can take you there,
snow having made me
 a world of bone
seen through to.
This is my house, my section of Etruscan wall, my neighbor's lemontrees, and, just below the lower church, the airplane factory.
A rooster crows all day from mist outside the walls.
There's milk on the air, ice on the oily lemonskins.
How clean the mind is, holy grave.
It is this girl by Piero della Francesca, unbuttoning her blue dress, her mantle of weather, to go into labor.
Come, we can go in.
It is before the birth of god.
No one has risen yet to the museums, to the assembly line--bodies and wings--to the open air market.
This is what the living do: go in.
It's a long way.
And the dress keeps opening from eternity to privacy, quickening.
Inside, at the heart, is tragedy, the present moment forever stillborn, but going in, each breath is a button coming undone, something terribly nimble-fingered finding all of the stops.

Poem by Jorie Graham
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