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From "Mapmaker of Absences" (Sixteen Rivers Press: 86 pp., $15)

November 20, 2005|Maria M. Benet

These ballet slippers,

size eight,

were fashioned from hog casings.

Opaque, yet translucent,

the way the world appears

in a wash of mist,

they hover under Plexiglass

in the nearly empty waiting room

of the oncology department.

From the body, illness,

given a pair of slippers, goes lightly

across the stage lit up by the vigors

and bents of hope,

never touching ground.

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