By Mark Cox

Featured Art: Sand Dunes, Harlech, North Wales by George Elbert Burr

Despite the curvatures adapted each to the other,
The slackening skin that in sleep feels lost without that other’s;
Despite the slatted fencing that marks their yard from others’,
And the offspring at play within, their testament to others;
Despite all the others they have embraced and refused;
Despite all otherness between them
They’ve acknowledged and recused;
They can no longer in mystery come to each other,
With the quickening and total surrender to another
That both empties each and fills the other.
And so they go on, because each goes on, despite the other:
To each their own wind-ironed waters,
To each their own bruised sky and horizon,
Their own shames, their own redemptions,
Awakening to each night’s newly shifted sloping,
Each day by unremitting day’s abiding,
Without need for another day or lover,
They endure side by side, in their time, no other.

Mark Cox teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington and in the Vermont College MFA Program. Recent work has appeared in Brevity, 32 Poems and The Colorado Review. He has authored six volumes of poetry, most recently Readiness: Prose Poems (2018) and Sorrow Bread: Poems 1984-2015.

Originally appeared in NOR 3

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