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quatrains in trimeter.

October 28, 2007

These are also fresh, and strange:

“The Abbey”

Sweet white Elizabeth:
laid flat, bone-bare, regal,
in Westminster Abbey,
(on my street.) I’m tight-lipped,

swaying in the draft below
dizzy rose windows, scared,
feeling round as they, but
colorless. The sun shone

on me for the first time
in months. Flaring nostrils
and wet eyes, silent chanting:
let the bastard child

swing free from my unchaste,
unbloodied hips. give me
a box of shame, a chance.
i’ll tell myself i carry

the christ child. And you’ll tell
me, in no uncertain
terms, that i have sinned.
Oh, how I suffer for it.

“Afternoon at the Chemist”

Half drunk with fear, the scarf
comes sliding down my throat.
Burst in, scour, feel sick
in line. Ten pounds, I race

to my flat, around a
corner. You can’t say, “I
gotta piss.” here, I think.
Piss is drunk. I’m dying.

Five floors in the lift. Slow,
then ding, then running, teal
walls give way to pale yellow.
Five minutes, two lines. We’re

safe, it tells me. I call,
you wake. It’s eight a.m.
in The States. Hysterical,
I tell you all. Strangely,

you thank me for wanting
to know. You are too small,
child, to have one. You can’t
live in the ebb and flow.

Even that has left you,
your own body saying
it’s final “no.” Lovie
eat your mash, and more.

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