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Hot Tin Roof: Year



1
The cage in my chest is rusted, it holds
robotic nuns. They spew sparks.
They light each others’ cigarettes.

2
The cage in my chest consisted of
catatonic gnats crawling, bumping heads
on a hajj to decaying cream cheese.

3
The cage in my chest is still sloshing
and swishing. The frogs have come back.
They speak German, and hack up gum.

4
The cage swings and shrills.
The squirrels inside hang by their toes.
I watch them in math class.

5
The cage, the wadded nylon stockings,
a wink, a muddy elbow.

6
The cage is full of closing dandelions.
Yellowlashed, browning like apple cores.

7
The cage and the tissue paper. The moths
watch their televisions.
They lie in the grass, belly up.

8
The cage relocates itself.
Ladies gasp. The will-o-wisps
cast off their days.

9
The cage is waterlogged, and my
fingerprints are goldbronze and white.
They trace trochees.

10
Cage lined with crepe dough. My gifts
are beginning to arrive:
Tylenols. Just you
wait.

11
The cage is empty except
for a crest that hasn’t stopped bleeding for days.
Bats hang about. They are not interested
in coming in.

12
The cage is human-sized, warm
despite the icy fingers of virgins.
Rattle the bars. I’ll find you,
peacock. Clanging along. Despite
evidence to the contralto smoker’s cough.
This is not the season of porcelain figures
or candlesticks. I have no gift but this.
There.


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