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 The lights come on in the valley below.

When did you last believe shutters were for shutting?

       A domestic penance:

    these accoutrements, spall and mixed

design breaking like ribbons of speech

              on ribbons of water.

   Dialect is the truest gift,

self speaking self

         the way the trees did,

   For we are one yet we are many

                 and we rise.

  There was a time I could not hear

   because my ears were stopped with pure honey.

           I was standing still.

At what point do thieves cease to steal

   our stories, our painted shadows?

              —Proverb and joke.

   Carefully I copy the image

         of empire’s currency,

abstraction of the leader, abstraction from the mode:

           thus sex as artifact.

   Lilith, take heart.

         I have not let anyone in.

  Scientists now project the pollen count

           millennia into the past—

If I refuse to remove my hand from the guiding thread

   it is only because I have not yet pledged

   allegiance to foreskin, shent villa,

       sweet crystal psalm.

from DisclamorFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2007
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in G.C. Waldrep Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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