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Alchemy

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Heifetz’s Decca recordings show him doing what he did best: transforming two- and three-minute trifles into works of perfection.
—John Maltese

Imperfect things are always—
it seems—a wave
of some wand away
from perfection.
They’re there—the toady
and the bumpy
with warts—for turning
into princes. Even pumpkins—
propped upon
piles of lumber—
idle like unupholstered
carriages up on cinder
blocks. But a trifle’s potential—
its capacity for alchemy, actually—
can leave you longing
for lead. So many things
you think are Prince Hals
are really just kings.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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Alchemy

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