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The Changing Coat

by Anne Marie Macari

When I wake up, heart
up my throat, a fear taste—
getting ready for 
the changing skin.

Your hat on the knob
of the banister, tilted.
You ask, why are you
holding up your head

with your hand? I'm tired,
stripped down, maybe 
I passed one of my deaths
getting ready for

the changing skin.
Sometimes, love, I can be
your sister, dead,
come to you in her

changing skin—tortoise
shell eyes, through gravel
and moss. And you can be
my brother, dead, saying:

I never meant to hurt anyone.
We are looking across
the table. It's a field,
long, spread out, pale,

the ground's icy. We're wearing
our new coats and we've passed
one or more of our deaths
along the way. There's no

afterlife, it's the same, the
same life, and when 
we remember that we pull
close our changing coats,

we tilt toward each other,
the ground is softer
than I thought,
our foreheads touch.

Copyright 2008 by Anne Marie Macari. Reprinted from She Heads into the Wilderness with the permission of Autumn House Press.
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