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Painting of a Cart


ISSUE:  Winter 2005


It’s like some ancient machine brought from storage,
      another age,
and if it weren’t selling imported flowers, you’d think
      the cart was
something you’d throw a few bodies on and haul
      through town,
regular enough its wheels warn of pestilence, poverty,
      reliable
as a church tower; and if you close your eyes and forgive
      the blossoms
the old stench might come wafting back, like a distant
      field feculent
and Dutch, spreading as the cart makes its way down
      the rancid
alleys, an odor thick as myrrh, slowly rising to a window,
      a kitchen
where you imagine you are chopping parsley, obliterating
      the leaves
into a stain of green; how you say to yourself, the wood,
      the knife knock,
the delinquent kids dragging a cart, clobbering the stones
      smooth with
their tiny hooves, how could this have ever been
      so lovely?

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