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Adagio

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Play the adagio, then—
train eyes to mimic the dead certainty of dripping plaster ceilings,
with Crisco handprints and chalk-preserved mosquitoes,
fossilized by the radioactive half-lives of Chicago years and an old woman’s steady breath.

Florentine ingredients, soupcon-ravished theatre saturated with
watercress sandwiches,
thin whiteblonde hairs leak,
tantalite and fine as archaic thread from a lady’s elbow,
dandruff-ridden crustaceans pick scab holes
in a naval-washed sky,
shreds of gold-stripped light lean precariously from black-a-bed cloud temples.

Syphilis is praised in Sumerian conifer along pristine mosque walls,
tentative as a one-hundred-pound girl shifting careful weight along leaden windowsills,
something black and long and hungry,
grinding impenetrable navy-white feed like finely crushed blown glass from keyhole to keyhole, yellow washed children with hollowed, gaping palms…

Breath pristine and unstable as a fallen carnival, the whole caravansary had fallen in like a card house at the disapproval in her eyes, and at the touch of his lips the incarnation was complete.





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