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Excerpts from Tandem
© Martin Wilcox

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In times like these, we know to look for signs.

We don’t know how. Too much is meaningful,

too much not. So we read between the lines,

never the lines, and push when doors say pull,

distracted by the rumor in the glass,

which mixes what’s before us with the shades

of what’s behind. We need to let things pass

sometimes without a word. As life cascades

over thought, the shapes it makes can be learned

in time, if we don’t rush to naming them.

Then, if we pay attention unconcerned

by all the prompts to cheer and to condemn,

the signs will come clear at the margins, like

the sparks that shadow matches as we strike.


In Between

In the middle of the night

in a muddle from the day

for the things I didn’t do

and the words I couldn’t say,

I stand reaching for the wall,

hoping for the light.

I can never find the switch

In the middle of the night.


In the middle of the day,

recovering from the night,

I can meddle with my dreams

but I never get them right.

No matter what you do,

no matter what you say,

you can really lose yourself

in the middle of the day.