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By Wind Is the Tree Cut Back

— Kirun Kapur

and the upright animal
of me falls away

the knobs of my spine
stutter.

I broke a little bone
a vertebra—

a breath             a breath—
grasp every kind of chain.

No need for the whole
body, not in this place—

a room of wind,
a storm of doors—

pain is the strangest game.
I saw a woman on the floor

struggling to make a shape—

the body and the talk of the body,
in between long miles of white.

I broke my back.
No, says the brain.

The tree’s trunk hacked
in half.

The woman will get up again

or in the blank—
the gasp—

she might stay.


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