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Graduating From Eternity
by John Goode

The Living City

The church mouse moans.
The daffodil braces.
The sun spills like a drug into a thousand faces.

The rheumy-eyed gutter pigeon,
the jasmine-drunk caddis fly,
square off like an argument of absolutes.

A cuckolded swan skewers a leisure-minded toad
and lifts his bald ass to the sky like an Aztec priest.

Wasps with belts of fire swarm the sweaty month of the ant.

Beautiful black-limbed asbestos roaches with scalloped noses
stomp like an army of one.

A mosquito with a shaved tongue and a small brass heart
suckles on her lover's cold silver ankle,

while a cricket bleeds fallopian oil into a bed
of shuffling lint.

Butterflies with suitcases of pearl
descend on crumbling lilac.

And the honey bee drops like a bomb its prescription of sugar.

The manna-filled city rat. Quixote invert. Lover of toenails.
Egyptian-snouted prince of scullery corners.
Blue-balled cocksman of the alleys of hair.

Throat like a used tire.
Bell-shaped head ringing electricity.

Skin as cold as a capital letter.
Stomach like a growling shoe.

Hungers for a chunk of discarded Polish deli sandwich
he spots half a block away.

His eyes, uncut diamonds, pulled from the lies of many stones.

The buzzing midsection of the yeast fizzes
like a stray dog's breast milk.

His lips like stove pipe shavings, curl.
His brain, a nimble casket circling death.

And those ears, rising like aerials, fill
with taxicabs, sirens, and the wails of lonely animals.

He runs like love in the rain
bled from an old wound.

 
 
 
 

 

 
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