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Map of terror and pleasure,
ardent junk, passionate congress
filled with the arguments of chemicals,

Echo chamber for the fanatical cries
of stubborn generations, all the quaint invisibles
death has grown a beard on,

labyrinth of desire, playing field of impulse,
factory where decay's silent armies clock in,
philosopher-clown blowing a horn at each epiphany.

Washed by the rough nurse of morning,
wheeled into the ward of the afternoon,
feeds, grateful, on the rich broth of dusk.

Reads the erratic cards of dreams,
turns on the rack of insomnia,
steals the two-bit grace of sleep.

Loses its name in foreign embraces,
forges a passport to the country of tenderness,
gestures like a child at the thing that it wants,
opaque from its own breath on the glass.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2002 issue of Poetry magazine

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