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ISSUE:  Spring 1999

We stepped off the train into one more town
briefly without rulers. Only snow. The old
consonant-heavy language felt like foam
in my mouth. Which road. On the left? No,
two rights. My hands flailing in confettied air.

You asked about the slogans on the platform’s
posters: black X’s across gold faces, what
the red type said. To have touched you then
would have brought down the snow
down harder on the land of anarchy.

At last someone pointed us to the inn,
where we didn’t have the right money
but no one cared. No one had. Inside, on a table
lay dozens of wet wool gloves—all palms up,
loudly dripping out of their freeze of gestures.


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