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Carolina

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Nonentity’s birthplace: a front yard sweeps
its dirt clean. Devil hopped up the oak tree,
devil-take-the-profit seized  
a jay in the twigs by the feet, wings buffeting

this child’s cheeks to rhyme. Leaf of gift
box tissue folded over her pocket comb. Hind
pocket kazoo. Won’t somebody please start
something other & oddball soon,  

narrow her down out of folly  
& trivia to destiny? But Whynot the tortie cat
flopped an irregular sunny patch,
wriggles & rolls & revives the blissy fits of ignorance.

Decades crunch as minor upcountry thunder. My nod
to Mastermind’s robot rabbit, said to dwell in his top
hat, who tips me a silk evening. Gloaming again & never
far from home. Listen you hoots: alas for me, for my love

with the gallant and grifter soul has tucked
into just the crevice he feared. Fear told  
& tells him the truth, so he trusts it. Listen
you hollers, whatever you had in mind for me.


Source: Poetry (February 2010)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

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Carolina

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