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Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Town


I was telling you a story . . .
I walked through many cities, thirty thousand days
. . . and I dreamed of a town . . .

It had a plan, a name . . .
a vestige a settlement
I caught a scent
of a perfume that I knew.

A village ended and circled, abutted rivers
without bridges
cataracts impossible to cross in a boat
mountains scratched the sky
through an avalanche of rock and snow

I had bitter tea served in a china cup
in the capital.

I took the government plane.

flimsy jerrycans of kerosene leaked
fog and mist
cloaked sharp as daggers
we passed a long valley

the pilots shouted, coffee sheared groaning spinning
high branches, snapping bones
coconuts littered broke lose
near a garden, scattered.

in a remote wing, a tin-lined box
held a family of spiders

a desk of dark teak
an old lamp
in coagulated light
and a bar of uneaten chocolate partly wrapped in foil
chalk white it became powder,
a letter opener encrusted with colored gems
left it where it was.

each man's footprint is a signet ring

what story is told
or calmed by falling?
cool waters ageless sputtering volcanoes
soaring eagles and two foot clamshells at the bottom of the sea
a kingdom to come
some pestilent impatient living thing hurts to think
of a thick rolled ball
some dark force galactic solar fate set
like a rooster waiting
for dawn

storytellers are not to be trusted.
maybe I already said this . . . no matter . . .

A sky of leaves,
a network of twigs.
Each twig became a star.

The brightest star becomes a child.

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