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Whereabouts

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Glove box rummages itself & dumps: fuzzy cough
droppings & stuck (menthol) among them a misdirectional
map intrigues me: say clotheslines’
fripperies hopping the breeze off the alley & garbage
lids clanging downhill to the sea: say there
in the sea floes
of penguins bobbing up to Argentine flamingos.

How hard is it to get lost? Listen to lost
useless horses whingeing for home & hames, a lost
grail stuffed with dirt deaf to human legends long
unstrung of sacred tune & lost,
children prodded along in the loops of war,
hopscotch mistake, the cast stone
skipped off the lake instead & lost the tournament

to the nice policeman there with the ice cream
precinct & his body buddy Dad. Dad declares he knows
by the spit & stripe of her this’s no one of his own,
his kids mope, & he goes. Ear to ear I must
look lucky at last, librarian
at the dictionary of things looking-up ever since
I hid in the glove box, pretending to be directions.


Source: Poetry (February 2010)

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

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Whereabouts

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