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poet

Cynthia Zarin

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Cynthia Zarin
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Cynthia Zarin is the author of Orbit (Knopf, 2017) and The Ada Poems (Knopf, 2010). She teaches at Yale University and lives in New York City.

by this poet

poem

As the future ripens in the past...
a terrible festival of dead leaves

—Anna Akhmatova

The trees talk quietly among themselves
the thrush sings its brown song brushed with blue
the roses from the bodega open in the vase

and under the streetlight the long shadows

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poem

To Mary Jo Salter

Beyond the ice-bound stones and bucking trees, 
past bewildered Mary, the Meer in snow, 
two skating rinks and two black crooked paths

are a battered pair of reading glasses 
scratched by the skater's multiplying math. 
Beset, I play this game of tic-tac-toe.

Divide, subtract. Who can
poem

Because you like to sleep with curtains drawn,
        at dawn I rose and pulled the velvet tight.

You stirred, then set your hand back on my hip,
       the bed a ship in sleep’s doubled plunging 

wave on wave, until as though a lighthouse
      beam had crossed the room: the vase

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