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after Lawrence Raab

are not like the wee hours,
where anything might happen or already has—

or the blousy hours of early morning,
the sheets taut under sail through the long reach

of daylight hours, until you arrive, once more,
at the still, blue harbor of evening.

In the small hours, you drift alone
on your raft of felled palms, weightless

between black fathoms above and
below, as between two eternities. 

And this is their terror and their bliss—
the small, pure hours beyond reckoning

where no one is looking for you,         
the stars beginning to make sense again

and, at the edge of the darkest hour,
a siren, keening you toward that fabled land

whose god rises daily in the east, strewing
the ground with gold for the taking.

Photo by Bill Anderson-Blough on Unsplash

Jennifer Maier

Jennifer Maier's debut collection, Dark Alphabet (Southern Illinois UP), was named one of "Ten Remarkable Books of 2006" by the Academy of American Poets and was a finalist for the 2008 Poets' Prize. Her second collection, Now, Now, was published in 2013 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. A third volume, The Occupant, is expected out next year from The University of Pittsburg Press.

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