New Yorker poems, May 15 2017 issue

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THE SOUL’S SOUNDTRACK

-Yusef Komunyakaa

When they call him Old School

he clears his throat, squares

his shoulders, & looks straight

into their lit eyes, saying,

“I was born by the damn river

& I’ve been running ever since.”

An echo of Sam Cooke hangs

in bruised air, & for a minute

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TIME, IN WHALES

Emily Jungmin Yoon

Our legs of yellow skin next to one another,

———–calves spread, I think of beached whales, the arcs of their bellies,

———————-clean and gleaming. A whale would lie in the shape

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