Assorted Hurts
Barbara Daniels

Among the hurt books I find
my own, cheap, and buy it,
despite the bent cover.

Why should I let myself go
for half my price? I’d rather
stack the book among the others,

face up like men in graves
looking toward stars all night.
Even in daylight they see

beyond the lit sky to opening
circles of space, that other
world—words and sorrows

twirled away. I bend over books,
bright reproductions—Raphael,
Fra Angelico. What is pain

amid these distractions? A radio
weatherman offers snow. Tulips
already stand in dead grasses,

not blooming, waiting coldly.
Outside, snow lifts like mist
and spins up, dancing.

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