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From This Height

                                    Christina Stoddard


The night we met, I had an odd conviction
I was a paragraph away from a crossroads
in one of those books where the reader
gets to choose: If you decide to wade in without
testing the water, turn to page 28.
You and I stayed
awake to watch the whole planet cool off
and heat up again. It’s been so long since we did
that. I can no longer pick the gunman
out of the lineup: the innocent is the wicked
is me. I almost left you today. I saw it clearly. I had
no idea what I was in for, loving a man
who was so resigned. I was supposed
to stand next to you on the ordinary sidewalk
and feel like saying, From this height, all the people
look so small.
Instead, I’m turning into
the Target parking lot wishing you were the one
coming to retrieve the shampoo forgotten at checkout
a few hours ago. Truth is, all the people
do look small. And we’re two of them.


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