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Weekly Poem: ‘How Simile Works’

By Albert Goldbarth

The drizzle-slicked cobblestone alleys
of some city;
                       and the brickwork back
of the lumbering Galapagos tortoise
they’d set me astride, at the “petting zoo”….

The taste of our squabble still in my mouth
the next day;
                       and the brackish puddles sectioning
the street one morning after a storm….

So poetry configures its comparisons.

My wife and I have been arguing; now
I’m telling her a childhood reminiscence,
stroking her back, her naked back that was
the particles in the heart of a star and will be
again, and is hers, and is like nothing
else, and is like the components of everything.


Albert Goldbarth is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and has won numerous awards, including two National Book Critics Circle Awards. He is a professor of humanities at Wichita State University, where he has taught since 1987.

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