"The Gate" by Marie Howe

"The Gate" by Marie Howe


"The Gate"
I had no idea that the gate I would step through
to finally enter this world
would be the space my brother’s body made. He was
a little taller than me: a young man
but grown, himself by then,
done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet,
rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the cold
and running water.
This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me.
And I’d say, What?
And he’d say, This—holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich.
And I’d say, What?
And he’d say, This, sort of looking around.


Reprinted from "What the Living Do" by Marie Howe. Copyright © 1998 by Marie Howe. Used with the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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is the State Poet of New York and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She’s published three collections of poetry: What the Living Do, The Good Thief, and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time.

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