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Creation Rites

ISSUE:  Spring 2003

. . .some average of the holiness in every person you have ever run into,
consider this, something almost like a wall covered in green vines,
an emblem for the spirit, or if not that, what happens when two lovers
stand among bushes in a garden off Houston, arguing a little, but afraid
really to get into it because they fear winding up alone,
and then several music lovers or ex-drug takers wandering along
on a summer day past the restaurant supply stores and the vacant
lot where the wino hotel used to be, they’re walking to Chinatown,
these holy people like pilgrims in Benares where they are talking
about putting crocodiles into the river to eat the corpses, you probably heard about it,
and there is some question about procedure in the cremation rites, all that,
but they’re obviously part of it, too, the holiness, and still it’s summer
and my friend has changed into her bathing suit and is walking
the three blocks to the public pool, it’s getting kind of late, she’ll swim
twenty laps and finish as the life guard, a slender boy with an island accent,
waits for her to come up out of the water like a rectified god.


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