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Also by Gregory Sellers:
What the Winds Says | Elegy with a Bird's Shadow | Elegy for Those Not Yet Departed

What the Winds Says*

For David Swanger

The wind says, "I am the voice beside you,
a leaf against the curb, a name you whisper
for the way it haunts you. You can hear
whatever the mind wants. I am still
holding a breath, the ghost beneath a sheet,
some lost moment a hinge finds. Open

the gate and walk away: you wish to turn
the porch light off and never look back
to the row of identical houses, your years
mortgaged with the familiar acts
of habits. Try to forget each hour spent
lying awake trying to forget, for regret
remembers regret, which is why

I never sweep the same place twice.
Often this voice is mistaken
for someone else. I remind others
of who they are, or wish to be. I know desires
better than any wildfire knows me.
So what do you wait for? A whim, a promise,
some dream? Think how dust settles
upon the shelf, how a tornado always loses
its funnel, how tomorrow becomes another day.
Think how capricious I am, for what
I bring to you, for what I take away."

*revised since its original appearance in CLR

Printed in the Spring/Summer 1997 issue of CLR

Gregory Sellers

Greg Sellers received his B.A. in English at Louisiana State University and earned his M.F.A. in creative writing at Arizona State University. The recipient of a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship and a Pushcart nomination, Sellers has been recognized by the University of Mississippi for his contributions as a creative writing instructor and has been selected national Teacher-of-the-Year for 2002 by River of Words. His poems recently have appeared in Poetry and other work is forthcoming in New Letters. He currently teaches creative writing at All Saints' Episcopal School in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

You can find Gregory Sellers on the web at:
—  Poetry Magazine

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