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Reverse Song
not because there is a road
and a woman walking,
nor the trees lining this road,
the light at half mast

not the birds in v crayon

not the uneven houses lit up from within
not even the clapboards’ chipped paint

nor the fact she is not alone
in the cricket sound

not the sun setting nor a first star

not the lawns fading to black
nor the broken sidewalk,
dented signs, new blacktop,

not the atmosphere
amped after showers

not the catcalls making one stranger
nor the river gaining volume
making all sentient things still
crossing a bridge

not the lamp’s sudden flame

but the type of daisy 
robins live among,
circle of light found on the table,
her gait, her motion, her speed. 

Peter Gizzi’s recent books include Sky Burial: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet), Now It’s Dark, and Archeophonics (both Wesleyan), which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. These poems are from his new book, Fierce Elegy, forthcoming in fall of 2023 from Wesleyan.