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14

SUNDAY

“I have been sleeping again/With my mouth open,” writes Michele Wolf in the title poem of her first commercially published collection, Conversations During Sleep. And what has spilled out are languid, murmuring lines that vividly trace the shapes of memories. At first, Wolf’s book (which won the 1997 Anhinga Prize for Poetry) seems haunted by loss—the killing of her innocence by a brutal rapist, her young sister’s protracted illness, her father’s death when she was a child. These specters surface at their own will, in dreams and even in the reflection above the bathroom sink: “I see/His eyes, including the wandering one,” she writes about her father. “The estate that skews all physical/Boundaries so that I can never gauge/Exactly where I am.” But these poems are less about grieving than they are about living with the people you love (and hate) inside yourself. Wolf reads at 7:30 p.m. at Teaism, 400 8th St. NW. $5. (202) 638-6010. (Shauna Miller)