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As Close As I Can

As Close as I Can is Toni's second volume of poetry. Here, with affection and insight, she examines the breadth and boundaries of family, place, language, and self.


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State of Emergency

I can feel the water pulsing through
the green rubber hose,
and all my hopes and anxieties
converge in the silvery spray—
dragging the weight from
one meager bed to the next,
day after fissured day.    

I dream of oaks
and fecund roots.
I am like the choir,
praising what I cannot see,
and petitioning for mercy.

Memorizing basic cloud types,
I haunt the sky for Nimbostratus.

I am not a farmer or a farmer’s wife.
I am as powerless as an expectant father—
Surely though, this thirst
must count for something.