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The Wake

ISSUE:  Autumn 1978
You lean close to the mirror
propped on the dresser,
combing your tight, short curls.
I’m twenty years older than you,
sitting in a chair, naked,
wearing a straw hat.
Your turn.
I can almost feel your hands.

Not tonight.
Sure. I’m still a good stick man.
I can pump it up,
oil out of Texas dirt.
I never gave you that two-fingers shit,
never had to spit on your iron
to see if it was hot.
Just take a long look.
See?—nothing but a back-street Valentino,
bald under a straw hat,
forty-five steps deep
in a patent leather grave.


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