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 Rodin’s marble
brings flesh to mind. The Kiss. The Thinker. Don’t touch! And yet...
What fine chisel
could ever yet cut breath?
Oh, she’s warm! gasps Leontes.
His wife on a pedestal: Standing Woman, 1932, by Gaston Lachaise
in the MoMA garden. Statuesque!
I joke with my wife and kids about final wishes.
Get me to the taxidermist. Have me stuffed.
Keep me in the closet, a manikin or hat-rack for children to mock.
Pass me down, an heirloom
as curious and embarrassing
as the big fanged
polar bear rug
with glass eyes and yellowing fur, the hunting trophy of
a forgotten relative.
At his retirement party
the beloved cop
grinned from our paper beside his melting likeness sculpted in ice.
 Henry is the founder of Ploughshares literary magazine; author of Sweet Marjoram: Notes and Essays; The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts (winner of the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel); Safe Suicide: Narratives, Essays, and Meditations; Sweet Dreams: A Family History; and Falling: Six Stories. He has edited five anthologies, including Sor- row’s Company: Writers on Loss and Grief. A graduate of Amherst College, MA, he earned a PhD at Harvard University, and his MFA from The University of Iowa. He is Professor Emeritus of Emerson College, MA.

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