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I cannot live with You (No. 640)

Emily Dickinson 1830 (Amherst) – 1886 (Amherst)



I cannot live with You--
It would be Life--
And Life is over there--
Behind the Shelf

The Sexton keeps the Key to--
Putting up
Our Life--His Porcelain--
Like a Cup--

Discarded of the Housewife--
Quaint--or Broke--
A newer Sevres pleases--
Old Ones crack--

I could not die--with You--
For One must wait
To shut the Other's Gaze down--
You--could not--

And I--could I stand by
And see You--freeze--
Without my Right of Frost--
Death's privilege?

Nor could I rise--with You--
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus'--
That New Grace

Glow plain--and foreign
On my homesick Eye--
Except that You than He
Shone closer by--

They'd judge Us--How--
For You--served Heaven--You know,
Or sought to--
I could not--

Because You saturated Sight--
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise

And were You lost, I would be--
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame--

And were You--saved--
And I--condemned to be
Where You were not--
That self--were Hell to Me--

So We must meet apart--
You there--I--here--
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are--and Prayer--
And that White Sustenance--
Despair--

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Emily Dickinson

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet. more…

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    "I cannot live with You (No. 640)" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/11728/i-cannot-live-with-you-(no.-640)>.

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