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by cate lycurgus

there was no future to speak of.

even the race there


was cancelled. as was all flying

east—we didn’t have


a machine for that—so suspended 

for hours in window


seats, as light hit each river &

runnel, we watched shine


pass aqueduct to gulley, coursing

the country’s veins. it might


falter a minute in cloud till

some gulch takes the hand


off—: body of water to body.

& who doesn’t want now


—a once ugly word—to relay

unchanged? I am redbud &


purple out from nothing.

the blue. ribbons


wave a length away so I crouch

for the blind transfer


patient—like dried limas huddle,

soaked—see, this is


the moment. same as if I had

already met you


& I would have nothing to say.

time to break. no


distance to make up—imagine:

our mouths, already



Cate Lycurgus’s poetry has appeared in Best American Poetry 2020, American Poetry Review, Tin House, Best New Poets 2019, and elsewhere. Cate lives south of San Francisco, California, where she interviews for 32 Poems and teaches writing. You can find her at

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