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Today's poem is by Rhina P. Espaillat

There Is a Man

There is a man goes stumbling through this town,
his left side trembling as if touched by stroke
or palsy, maybe, and he wears a face
that says "I want this," looking steady, down
where feet must totter straight. We never spoke,
I do not know him, but in all this place
nobody says so surely or so clear,
Desire is all there is to keep us here.

How easy — irresistible, for me —
in the ungainly shoes he drags with such
tenacity, to falter, to let be,
let go. Just once, I think, release your touch
on that hard substance, life, and you go free.
How wonderful to want it all that much.



Copyright © 2002 Rhina P. Espaillat All rights reserved
from Rehearsing Absence
University of Evansville Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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