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About this Poem 

"This poem is from a series I'm writing about the final days of utopic communities and cults. In this case, I'd been reading the diary of a member of the Oneida Community. They attempted to practice a form of sexual, affective, and material communism."
—Joe Hall

UTOPIA: Love as Free as a Fountain

Joe Hall

How could the news come?
We drove with my second cousins to
The orchards at the feet of the Catskills.

We cut three names into a tree.
And when I burned my wrist in the cannery
So badly it began to bubble,

You were there with a bucket of cold water.
Among the tons of softening apples
You smelled like cinnamon burning. That night

I watched you play the piano with Jamie and Evan
Who were both, at some point, your lovers—
My heart in such a confusion,

Their bows drawing diagrams in the air,
This moment so close to prayer.

Copyright © 2013 by Joe Hall. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on July 26, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Joe Hall. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on July 26, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Joe Hall

Joe Hall

Joe Hall is the author of The Devotional Poems (Black Ocean, 2013). 

by this poet

poem

The forest rings so wide, it is the world. The sky, ocean,
        hand
In hand rising to tides, particulate excreta. The river mouth

The moon lights in blindness through the forest, hot,
        tumbling silver by houses
Like mushrooms crowded. Ladder by ladder, neighbors
       

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