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ISSUE:  Spring 2000
Sometimes a woman will stop to start,
she thinks, for groceries, and as if it mattered.
Bless her going out
& her coming in late next hour flourishing
celery exfoliate from two bulky bags; she
has imagined her way death-defiantly
home again from the fluorescent
acreage of goods in stock where, in a puff
of fine ash, there appeared to her

this firework: a lizard
involving the red rose—zeal, she understands.
Wrestling the petals. Flashforward
to versions of time & weather, but,
among the possible combinations, a stringy
light seems to pluck into human limbs and surroundings:
harp, with marionettes. The jitters.
She rests her head then gently in her hair.
Poise, to steer her among the aisles.

If the house plague is contagion itself.
If the peach bruise elaborates.
Seizure of the shoelace knot! At fingertips
jig the dancing dust around the dancing void, until I love
my body and soul so fervently that both
rally on the spot to what must sound exactly like my call—
out of the vast neighborhood
distances in a twinkling, sloppy with joy, each
scrambling over the other to greet me.


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