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Paul Violi
Look for Remus in the index of a book
And you are bound to get “See Romulus
Which is perfectly logical but makes me wonder
About indexes, or indices, and why I prefer the former
As the plural except in a financial context, and how
An index to a book that may not exist may imply
A whole biography, as my friend Paul Violi
Showed in his poem “Index.” My late friend
Paul Violi, whom I still see in the street
Sometimes, walking along at an unhurried pace
So if I walk fast I will catch up to him at the corner
Before the light turns green.

Ed. Note: Books by Paul Violi (July 20, 1944 – April 2, 2011) include Splurge, In Baltic Circles, and Selected Poems, 1970-2007. Check out his “Counterman,” which guest editor Billy Collins selected for The Best American Poetry 2006. It was also chosen by Robert Pinsky for The Best of the Best American Poetry: 25th Anniversary Edition.

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