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By Dorianne Laux

Someone spoke to me last night,

told me the truth. Just a few words,

but I recognized it.

I knew I should make myself get up,

write it down, but it was late,

and I was exhausted from working

all day in the garden, moving rocks.

Now, I remember only the flavor —

not like food, sweet or sharp.

More like a fine powder, like dust.

And I wasn’t elated or frightened,

but simply rapt, aware.

That’s how it is sometimes —

God comes to your window,

all bright light and black wings,

and you’re just too tired to open it.


Dorianne Laux, “Dust” from What We Carry. Copyright © 1994 by Dorianne Laux. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. 

Source: What We Carry (BOA Editions, Ltd., 1994)

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Poet Bio

Dorianne Laux
Dorianne Laux is the author of several collections of poetry, received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been a Pushcart Prize winner. Her free-verse poems are sensual and grounded, and they reveal the poet as a compassionate witness to the everyday. Laux has taught creative writing at the University of Oregon, Pacific University, and North Carolina State University; she has also led summer workshops at Esalen in Big Sur. She is the co-author, with Kim Addonizio, of The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (1997). She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, poet Joseph Millar. See More By This Poet

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