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The Little Review
Making No Compromises With the Public Taste
Poem for Tuesday and Potomac Overlook Park 
Tuesday, 6th July 2021 12:44 am

The Way One Animal Trusts Another
By Carl Phillips

        Somewhere between what it feels like, to be at
one with the sea, and to understand the sea as
mere context for the boat whose engine refuses
finally to turn over: yeah, I know the place—
stumbled into it myself, once; twice, almost. All
around and in between the two trees that
grow there, tree of compassion and—much taller—
tree of pity, its bark more bronze, the snow
        settled as if an openness of any kind meant, as well,
a woundedness that, by filling it, the snow
might heal…You know what I think? I think if we’re
lost, you should know exactly where, by now; I’ve
watched you stare long and hard enough at the map
already…I’m beginning to think I may never
not be undecided, about all sorts of things: whether
snow really does resemble the broken laughter
        of the long-abandoned when what left comes back
big-time; whether gratitude’s just a haunted
space like any other. This place sounds daily
more like a theater of war, each time I listen to it—
loss, surprise, victory, being only three of the countless
fates, if you want to call them that, that we don’t
so much live with, it seems, as live for now among. If as
close as we’re ever likely to get, you and I, is this—this close—


I had an unexpectedly nice Monday -- we had brunch for the first time in at least a year and a half with Alice, Jeremy, and Avery, whom I saw all the time when Maddy lived here and have really missed this past year. We met at Ruthie's All Day, which was serving their excellent brunch menu -- I had a black bean burger benedict, and stole a bite of the apple pie pancakes from Avery, which were fantastic -- then we took their dog Percy to walk at nearby Potomac Overlook Park, where there was a deer five feet from our parking spot and wild raspberries growing everywhere. The nature center was closed, but the raptor enclosure was open, so we got to see the hawk and owls.

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It was very hot despite the park trails being under shady trees, so when we got home, we spent some of the afternoon doing chores in the air conditioning. Later we took a walk around the neighborhood to see the summer flowers, had soup and sandwiches for dinner because we weren't ravenous after such a big brunch, and watched The Republic of Sarah, which remains rather oversimplified, didactic, and delightfully utopian, so just what I'm in the mood for these days. Then we caught up on last week's Kung Fu, about which I could say pretty much the same -- the CW is good about having idealistic young women fight for causes with the best of intentions.
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