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Whistles of Cops


ISSUE:  Autumn 1978

The servants strike. Repelled
by dust and rotting garbage
they shovel each other
whole, over the fence.

They scale the forks of trees,
hang from branches, swing
and leap—beyond the fence
the North of thieves turns gray,

And from the very orchard
where your eye spent the night,
they fish a flattened whistle
out of the mist.

It gets frenzied in a cop’s fist
and flips its gills,
and lifts its eyes and throat
in a fishy sort of squint.

Now it is a pea
of fibrillating silver
that pales over the fence
like a gray-blue star.

And to the East where Tivoli
expires in a tubercular summer,
the gutted whistle gasps
clogged by agonizing dust.

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