Does exile begin at birth? I lived beside a wide river
For so long I stopped hearing it.
As when a glass shatters during an argument,
And we are secretly thrilled. . . . We wanted it to break.
Always something missing now in the cry of one bird,
Its wings flared against the wood.
Still, everything that is singular has a name:
Stone, song, trembling, waist, & snow. I remember how
My old psychiatrist would pinch his nose between
A thumb & forefinger, look up at me & sigh.
by Larry Levis, 1946 – 1996