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A weekly poem, read by the author.
Sept. 3 2002 11:59 AM


Listen to Cate Marvin reading this poem. He's light warbled through the distorted glass of a window, the shimmery stalk of lamp stand I view as I stand in ten below with a cigarette and a thought of him, light

warbling like that, so the eye cannot rest,
jaw fluid and eyes dark-heavy, amove and alive
as if his blood won't rest, so I take it in
and puff out mouthfuls of ice-air, with

a thought of him, some dime-store story,
real enough to make me laugh, strange enough
to make me quake just after he's left, so I
kiss my desk, I kiss my hand at thinking


of him: some rough-headed, sharp-eyed man,
a gentleman carrying an old lady's bag off
the bus, her nodding thanks to him. Hips
could be made out beneath the wrinkle

of clothes; his midriff was, for a moment,
exposed when he reached for her luggage.
And when we disembarked, his cupped
hands flowered a flame for my cigarette.

Cate Marvin's second book, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, will appear in 2007. She is an assistant professor at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.