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September 2007

The lie

by J. Allyn Rosser

The eyes you look at me with now,
which I for far too long have
made eyes back at,
have wrought reliable,
made kind, made in my heart
all mine, begin to waver,
the lids flickering as might
a candle flame blown on softly,
not enough to extinguish,
there, the lie showing
first its halt shadow, then
a sly green uncurling,
then all in a rush its bloom,
a full-blown lie I had wished away
for so long that my just now asking
had been a rote exercise
of negative expectation,
now that our separation has allegedly
made moot your presupposed reply;
what I assumed would not now matter
now massively mattering,
your image dashed, your right
and left eye both gone
beastly and small, their very shape
ruined for seeing, for mine I mean,
for my making of them anything,
with this new blood at my temple,
for which I can hold any regard.

J Allyn Rosser's Foiled Again, winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize, is published by Ivan R. Dee.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 26 September 2007, on page 29

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