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ISSUE:  Summer 1979

Where in the theatre of nature
did they find a winter like this?
With no beginning or end
it hardly qualifies for tragedy,

more like some medieval French romance
in a bad translation
limping from incident to incident
with all the characters disguised
and looking exactly alike.

And yet years from now
we’ll recognize this winter
as the uneventful onset of a fatal disease.
We’ll mark from this moment
the way things changed and froze.

“It was then,” we’ll recall,
“that the seasons began repeating themselves
like the lady announcing time over the telephone,
when we lost our faith in God
for strictly aesthetic reasons
and the sun became shiny and bright
like a trout in a crate of ice.”


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