Lucy, how could you know, in your tender immediacy, that your great-great-grand-daughter of the future would be a seven-foot-tall dragon with functionless wings?

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After the mob murdered the man for eating
a cow, it was found to be meat
from a goat. Why can I not
stop thinking about it—
the stringy flesh inside his gut,

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he is stripped down to the essentials:
a man and his facts, a meteor
shattering into little stars

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I did not love you, not
in the way we are taught to think
of love, but

you held me, listened to me, made me
say what I needed.

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So, now we must negotiate all the
god-forsaken years spent indentured
to one god or another millennia
after millennia like strata embedded
​into our primordial DNA.

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I never perfected the art of taking
of claiming the merely found as mine
never felt the extensive satisfaction
of keeping all my finds

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Vehement shakes and frowns,
points to his pad and pencil.
“Too sad” he writes . . . (to remember,
to be no longer able to play)

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I remember Rene Otto Castillo. Because the lines and their sizes
are all there though we have made several attempts to erase
with all our might. A smell from the pot on a hearth is out there
from the window and everybody in the street breathes the beetroot
​soup. It is launch. It is ethereal nose everybody wears all this noontide.

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If only one could play them without the “tits and feathers.”
​A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life.

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The other day a woman was pulled from the canal unconscious and not breathing. That’s when I realized I should have done something sooner – hanged myself from a ceiling hook or bitten down on the muzzle of a gun.

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The children stay home from school
often now. Homework never complete.
They have grown silent. Whenever they
talk, it is said, they only speak about
colors missing from the rainbow.

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This young man’s madness is sincere and intense.
Bargemen grind to dock their relics to the shore,
their rusty struggle is honest and intense.

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Wanton winds,
take my broken songs 
to the riverside
and let them drown.
I need room
for new songs of hope.

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The 5 was much easier to write
The ampersand, less so
With nothing to wave your hand over
As if virtual nature quite interior
Overlaps

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The neighborhood monkeys,
doused in kerosene,
Revolved around the tiny globules
Of loss and savagery

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Closest thing
you’ll ever get
to luck’s
a ping pong ball

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as her wrists ache,
shoulders protest
and eyes accede
more and more to memory –

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We didn’t know
about the stifling
box cars, the bullhooks.
We just kept
waving our light-up
​plastic toys

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of borrowed streets of silent
daughters voyaging toward
homes filled with dust and
detritus and grime lacking
​wind eyes to air their there.

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Snap your fingers and the dancing girls appear, it’s that simple.
Oh, they are dancing women. Now they are men.
Do you see what I mean. I have taken you over. You have become
a control freak. A control pervert. A wrong shoe on the right foot.

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Stop and take your temperature; tie a rope around the
daunting cloud that insists of hovering above you before
sleep sets in and hunger knows no marrow.

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you might be a break in the monotony
a saxophonist encouraging call and response
then you quit smoking for good
while I notice 
in the middle of the night
a pair of scissors at my throat

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Internet. Information. Rain pouring into
the glass cunt of my mind
Momma always said I told you so
before beating the glass

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this is Oklahoma
this is frontierland
make it up as you go
the sharp procedure
the sharps injected

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Let us pray for tar, hot & melting
against old rocks, chipped & broken
like our lives, robbed of innocence
& youthful zeal. Bodies neglected.

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Aristocrats on annuities in drawing rooms
held bromances of the mire,
tempest glances by garment pulses
with breasts as powdered as the pines.

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But a young teenager in a poor neighborhood
is writing poems about police patrolling
the streets and the fear that pervades them,
yet his verses are the wildflowers

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trying to create a world from the inside out, without killing—
evolution a flip book of an unrepeatable story
unable to flip the pages of sequoia, brontosaurs

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Come, tell us your story of romance.

If you only have a bad lover,
then a bad lover it is.

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happy children’s voices
are laughing in the past.

Silence. Then somewhere a telephone
starts to ring and it rings

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How is it possible the sky
Can shine across the river
Anymore, the heart beat
Purely as the distance from a grave?

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no one ever asked you
how does it feel to be submerged
in the affection of an ordinary poet
ignoring the frigid wind, word’s breath draws fervor
your bubbles rising in the water are her answers

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You poisoned sad with stoning veins,
I dream of you in morning street
With angry hair, with open teeth
And drinking meat in concrete shade.

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until cops came with their shining blue
light and
we ran 
​into the backyard shadows--

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his days no better,
the sunlight reflected off his reflecting skin,
blinding his eyes,
causing him to stumble
into stained-skinned strangers,

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You're in Brooklyn, a place of cruelty
in your youth, a place of probity
in your dotage. You sit on a bench
vacated by Jamaican nannies
​under which portly pigeons nuzzle

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