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I And Thou

Christina Pugh

I AND THOU

Must we cultivate our kindness? Can we

book a fellow-feeling for the sake of the fellow,

not the Ghost? Last night, for example, the white-

haired girl told us singing was like praying; and that

iron of naturalized note in the bluegrass made me

want to say sublime, sublime to myself, in the Sapphic

sense that knows sublimity as love (O wash me

green as yonder field); and the girl’s reed song did

light from the stage, constellating phrases like Heavens

divided
in a quaver formed between forte and whisper,

acute supple wavers among syllables and slants: and

now may you keep me close within your ear; I can hear

the voice I loved when I wondered at its dialect—

you know, if I’m ever able to speak, I’ll want

someone human to answer me.