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When you look up, or out,

or in, your seeing is

a substance: stuff: a density

of some kind, like a pitch

that’s just outside the range

of hearing: numb

nudge of the real.

                I saw air

once, in its nothingness

so clear it was a voice

almost, a kind of joy. I thought

of water – breath as drinking -

and the way it shows us

light. Or maybe it was light

I thought of – as though

water were the solid form

of wind, and air

a language with a single word

transparent to the world.

Your glance is this,

meltwater, mountain light.

The plunge and thunder of the pool.

The ripple at its farthest edge.

When You Look Up

Jan Zwicky

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George McWhirter

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translated from the Spanish written by
Homero Aridjis