Slow river

We could re-enact a formal pain
Like when it happened last year

Or some centuries ago, a formal
Event inside the stone of nerves

Nerves grown dumb like tombs
That froze marble for dead wife.

Formal feeling is made of stone,
As our hands and feet are froze,

Wife or son or bleeding prophet,
We freeze sorrow in a slow river

The way glacier flows and melts
Bodies shall flow with no clutter.

(Reading Emily Dickinson’s poem “After a great pain a formal feeling comes”)


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