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ISSUE:  Spring 1999
  I see
  the bleak parakeet dancing
in the cage, the spores multiplying
  with mocking smiles. This isn’t

  a dream.
  This is a cross reference
in my brain, something a little Valium
  will extract. I constantly see things

  this way,
  dark and dangled, cankerous
and pustular. It is the repetition. It must be.
  After all, when I was five

  the world
  looked green from behind my handlebars.
Later, I dated a girl with wonderful ankles.
  I drew favorable analogies.

  I was an optimist before I saw dustbins
fill with decomposed corpuscles, tumefaction
  break the bone,

  the skin, a gasping plasmodium
wrinkle in bed. All this senselessness—
  and then again, and again.


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