I am twenty, drifting in la chalupa, the blue boat painted with roses, white lilies— No, not drifting, I am poling my way into my life. It seems like another life: There were the walls of the mind. There were the cliffs of the mind, There were the seven deaths, and the seven bread-offerings— Still,
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You came in a dream, yesterday —The first day we met you showed me your dark workroom off the kitchen, your books, your notebooks. Reading our last, knowing-last letters —the years of our friendship reading our poems to each other, I would start breathing again. Yesterday, in the afternoon, more than a year since you died, some words came into the air. I looked away a second, and they were gone, six lines, just passing through. for Adrienne Rich
The author of many collections of poetry, Jean Valentine has received such honors as the National Book Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets.