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"Belle Isle [Detroit], 1949," Philip Levine

Author: Philip Levine

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We stripped in the first warm spring night
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and ran down into the Detroit River
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to baptize ourselves in the brine
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of car parts, dead fish, stolen bicycles,
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OLIVER LANG (May 01 2019 1:53PM) : this may be in the perspective of criminals who stole these since car parts and "stolen" bicycles are things that people steal from people in the real world
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melted snow. I remember going under
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hand in hand with a Polish highschool girl
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I'd never seen before, and the cries
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our breath made caught at the same time
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on the cold, and rising through the layers
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of darkness into the final moonless atmosphere
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that was this world, the girl breaking
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the surface after me and swimming out
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on the starless waters towards the lights
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of Jefferson Ave. and the stacks
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of the old stove factory unwinking.
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Turning at last to see no island at all
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but a perfect calm dark as far
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as there was sight, and then a light
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and another riding low out ahead
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to bring us home, ore boats maybe, or smokers
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OLIVER LANG (May 01 2019 1:59PM) : They are seeing things in the distance which are possibly people coming for them though the don't know who if it actually was someone because it may not is.
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walking alone. Back panting
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to the gray coarse beach we didn't dare
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fall on, the damp piles of clothes,
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and dressing side by side in silence
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to go back where we came from.
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Philip Levine, "Belle Isle, 1949" from They Feed They Lion and The Names of the Lost. Copyright © 1999 by Philip Levine. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

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Source: They Feed They Lion and The Names of the Lost (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999)

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DMU Timestamp: May 31, 2018 00:33

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