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March 3, By REGINA deCORMIER

August 29, 1993

Perhaps it was the news

of a spectacular supernova,

a dead, pulsating star, dead

and shining with the breath-stopping light

of more than a hundred million suns

as it explodes in the skies to the south

that caused you to fly into the tree

of my dreaming, bright clicks of castanets

and your eyes polished like the bevel

securing the carnelian that dangled

from your neck. Your feathered arms

embraced leaves and the sun rang its bells,

echoed your laughter. When you called out

to me, I woke, and stared

into the pea-souper that pressed against

the glass, the house imprisoned,

and thought how lobsters thrash and struggle

against the sides of crates where

they are imprisoned,

how their flailing makes a kind of music

not unlike that of castanets, how their eyes

blaze brighter than the silver bevel

that encircled your carnelian,

and in the refracted light of ordinary

stars, their plated arms are dark

wings of rage. No sound now but the fog

horn's muffled alarms.

The odor of brine in my uncombed hair.

From "Hoofbeats on the Door" by Regina deCormier (Helicon Nine Editions: $9.95; 97 pp.). DeCormier has published a number of books, including "Growing Toward Peace" (Random House), which has been translated into 15 languages. She spends part of each year in Mexico and part in New Paltz, N.Y., where she lives with her husband and two sons. 1993 by Regina deCormier. Reprinted by permission.

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