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"Mike Bufano" by Charles Kell


The hail bruised our backs, the rain, Hart Crane.

Later, in Warren, you were my only friend.

At the gym, under weights, sweat on your skin—

I never said being alone was the end


And never thought it, until I saw Nick Rogers

Weeping at your funeral. I remembered

Hail bruising our backs, the rain, Hart Crane,

Years later, in Warren, you were my only friend.


A wreck without a helmet, twisted body on the pavement.

“Legend”: It is to be learned—/This cleaving

and this burning,/But only by the one who/Spends out himself again.

The hail bruised our backs. The rain. Hart Crane.





Charles Kell is the author of Ishmael Mask, just released from Autumn House Press. His first

collection, Cage of Lit Glass, was chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press

Poetry Prize.

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