Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol.21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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For Wendy Battin, 1953–2015

She squared herself like a shirt box.
In her skull, a cat stretched.

She smoked all night, one then
The other, whisky lighting her way.

In daylight, how would she not
Die early? The cat inside her

Sharpened her claws. One thought
And another began, a swell in open ocean

Like all the swells you don’t notice
Because they keep coming, that’s

What the sea looks like. Who understood
Beauty’s force as she did, for whom

Beauty was never a given? Who saw
Words make their meanings

At a distance, in sighs and ripples. In her
Angles the sea darkly glimmered, the sea

A cat who will never lie down, stretching
And curling while my friend stalked

Its shore watching, my friend
Who also will not lie down.  

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