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Ralph Burns
Ralph Burns
Ralph Burns was born in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1949, and received an...
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Lamp or Mirror
by Tony Barnstone
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In the Bathroom Mirror

 
by Ralph Burns

He continues to ponder
	And his wife moves next to him.
She looks.  They look at themselves 
	Looking through the fog.
She has a meeting she says in about
	Thirty minutes, he has
Something too.  But still she has
	Just stepped out of the bath
And a single drop of water
	Has curved along her breast
Down her abdomen and vialed in
	Her navel then disappeared
In crimson.  Unless they love
	Then wake in love
Who can they ever be?  Their faces bloom,
	A rain mists down, the bare
Bulb softens above the glass,
	So little light that
The hands mumble deliciously,
	That the mouth opens
Mothlike, like petals finding
	Themselves awake again
At four o'clock mid shade and sun.
				

				

				
				






From Swamp Candles, by Ralph Burns, published by University of Iowa Press. Copyright © 1996 by Ralph Burns. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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