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Things wear out. Also fingers.
Gnarling sets in.
Your hands crouch in their mittens.
Forget chopsticks, and buttons.

Feet have their own agendas.
They scorn your taste in shoes
and ignore your trails, your maps.

Ears are superfluous:
What are they for,
those alien pink flaps?
Skull fungus.

The body, once your accomplice,
is now your trap.
The sunrise makes you wince:
too bright, too flamingo.

After a lifetime of tangling,
of knotted snares and lacework,
of purple headspace tornados
with their heartrace and rubble,
you crave the end of mazes

and pray for a white shore,
an ocean with its horizon;
not, so much, bliss
but a flat line you steer for.

No more hiss and slosh,
no reefs, no deeps,
no throat rattle of gravel.

It sounds like this:

Published in the print edition of the November 9, 2020, issue.

Margaret Atwood, a winner of the 2019 Booker Prize, for “The Testaments,” will publish a new essay collection, “Burning Questions,” in 2022.

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Angels pray for peace

Angels pray for peace in heaven

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