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Alike, Yet Not Quite

After Li Shangyin

Thin fish bones arranged on the bone plate, a bracelet
Blushing after wine and high sun
The Buddhist nun, like a tipped glass, emptying through the mouth
Smell of shadows in both March and October
Solitude and coarse wanting, wedged stubbornly
The railway conductor’s face, blank as the underside of a river
Paper gown at the gynecologist’s office, onion skin, easy to part
Unhurried, the knife against the vegetable or the meat
Astonishment of being left and of choosing to leave