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Vaughn De Leath (b. Leonore Vonderleith)
B. 1894 Mt. Pulaski, Illionois / D. 5.27.1943 Buffalo

We drifted apart
drift apart, as if there were no choice nor choices made
bar talk
we drifted apart
and all pause as if seeing the phrase for the first time in action
an expanse of ice and two people huddling in parkas
can’t make out their faces
their backs are turned to one another
we drifted apart
Did they hear that sharp report just now?
Do they know what it signaled?
the ice is parting like the water’s eyelids
we drifted apart
they sit moping in the chill
their separate ways gone for them

We drifted apart
her life became interesting and mine did not
it was strange
(this is phone talk)
we drifted apart
my hurt feelings like rocket fuel
pectoral pronouns
the conjoining with an absent one that breathing “we” effects
we drifted apart
the tongue’s pleasure in snapping the tie anew
as if it were a thread of gum

Barge poles
packed among my birth equipment with my curls
and my devastating glances
Barge poles
readymade for repelling advances
while feeling for depth
Barge poles
not your place not mine
and a multicolored ribbon for my hat
Barge poles
islands of water sod in the stream
being combed by the current

Consolation Site: Are You Lonesome Tonight?

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