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Déjà Vu


It happened to me once.

Winter came, and snow quilted every inch.

I stood on the soapbox, as I was told,

and made staggering accusations. The public ignored,

so I retreated behind the potted yew.

I was waiting for a moment I was supposed to have


on a balcony overlooking the giant, gridded landscape.

The sounds I made underscored what I meant.

The potted yew was the face that I wore.

It was a metaphor for what could be.

The public endured.

I put the potted yew behind me. I made staggering an art.


That wasn’t the truth though. Winter

comes and negates all it covers. It doesn’t matter where I stand.

The balcony is a floor without walls.

The yew is a hurt that shadows.

The instance lives beneath us. Not just us, everybody.


The shadow hurts us. I make sounds like

the truth. Fate and theft are involved.

I think I told you this before. The floor is a wall that obscures.

The yew is quilt without color. Shadow is a fate you involved.

The yew on a balcony negates. I told you this before.

I was left undone. It’s what I meant. Underneath everyone.


Carmen Giménez Smith, “Déjà Vu” from Odalisque in Pieces. Copyright © 2009 by Carmen Gimenez Smith.


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Taken on April 21, 2013