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I. Or, the Anchorite Who is Dying By Degrees

ISSUE:  Winter 2008

Father Gravitational’s Wig Flies Off

According to his laws, and floats according to them,
and joins a flock of seagulls, and summers with them,
slaty-backed, and winters with them, glaucous-winged,
according to his laws. Father Gravitational stares up,
sees the burlap scalp breathe, and hides in the nearest bed

of fuchsias. Aerial view is his assassin, and waits on all
sides; unison is his assassin, with animal noise nocked
on a string. There is little life to flash: he remembers how
he stood and walked, unjointly, how he swore on a book,
shingle-voiced; and when his round died down, had said:
will never whirl around a hub. Seen from above, he is virginal

and vast, seen from above, he is continent. Surrounding him,
the water wears a flexible armor of perimeter, wears ring mail
of circumference. Father Gravitational rises through the air
and rambles fuchsias as he goes. He wears a cloud for a white
tonsure. Has for outer limits a flying wig. It will, he knows,
come to rest again on him, as periwinkled as it was, and complete
his composite skeleton: a gull breaking snails on gray rock.


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