Marie Howe

The Gate

I had no idea that the gate I would step through
to finally enter this world
would be the space my brother's body made. He was
a little taller than me: a young man
but grown, himself by then,
done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet,
rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the cold
and running water.
This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me.
And I'd say, What?
And he'd say, This—holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich.
And I'd say, What?
And he'd say, This, sort of looking around.

~ Marie Howe from "The Gate" in WHAT THE LIVING DO

As soon as I finish this sentence

Why do I flee from you? My days and nights pour through me like complaints and become a story I forgot to tell. Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.
~ from THE KINGDOM OF ORDINARY TIME by Marie Howe
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