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Strange Little Prophets

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When is the smell of a blackberry tree
a harbinger of  violent movement
rather than simply the recollection of
a childhood Sunday dress hem-dipped
in mud, handprinted with juice and seeds?
Hard to say. A mind, when playing tricks
is at its most sincere — at home raking
through the body’s history, repeating
the strange and nostalgic. The taste of
dirty copper, the imagined cockroach
in the corner, the sluggish slow of  the clock
 — doctors call these strange little prophets
warning signs of a seizure, synaptic misfires
looming like a song discordant, until the body
 — an unplucked string — is finally strummed.

Source: Poetry (January 2013)

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

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Strange Little Prophets

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