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Dime-Store Travelogue

Someone lifted a strand of my hair & smelled it
& I began my travels

through oranges & rain.  & the dark wood
of my own scarred table. I thought there
should be a castle around my voice

but there were only two roosters sprouting
their wish to be roses & the holy blood of the slain
into the sound of water cunningly unbuckling

a spider played her alphabet against
my tympanum making a charm
for my fingernails to stay rooted

in their beds like the royalty of women
who sold themselves kept deep in their minds
while skin simpled & stuttered yes

I am a good audience & by this evade detection
& disgrace.  Maybe you didn’t notice
me crouching, a marvelous villa inside a slave

The city not yet in flames.  For an hour
erase naught with if.  Because it is
the stronger thing we must prevent ourselves from

imagining until the hour of our deaths
so as not to know how strongly we exist