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Kathleen Kirk

But This Might Still Be Called "Waiting for Immortality" 



Out the window, death’s clean sheet
laid on with sharp fingernails.

Hospital corners. After long life, I hate
metaphor. I love metaphor.

When I wake at night I’m stuck in Pride
and Prejudice
, re-imagined 

as time travel: I’m a doctor, a slight 
amnesiac. I suck the venom 

from a child’s leg, perform the Heimlich
on a man choking

at the village dance. You understand
I’m not still dreaming.

This is real life in the middle of the night.
The earlier version

has already gone out into the world,
and if it’s taken

I’ll have to stop where it stopped.

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