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Lines for painting on grains of rice

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For Rebecca

You are the kind of  person who buys exotic fruits
             leaves them out on the counter until they rot
You always mean to eat them       sometimes you rearrange them
             rousing over the bowl a cloud of tiny flies


                                            &

How do they balance       the parrot who chews a walnut
             sideways       holding it up in his right foot
the owl perched on a just-lit lamppost
             scratching behind its ear       like a big dog

                                            &

Your pencil eraser wears down long before the point
             for every word you write       you rub out two

                                            &

Where the slice of  toast rested       the plate is still warm
            a film of fog       little points of dew

                                            &

Love is like velocity       we feel the speeding up
            and the slowing down       otherwise not at all
the more steady       the more it feels like going nowhere
            my love I want to go nowhere with you

                                            &

I cannot bring myself  to toss the cup of cold coffee
       you set down by the door on your way to the taxi
all day I have sipped it       each time forgetting
       your two tablets of fake sugar       too sweet

                                            &

Running down the street
        dodging between raindrops plump as cherries

                                            &

The ground was feathered with wild strawberries
        I picked seven       as many as I could bear
I ate two       I saved the rest for you       here
        hold out your hand       take them       taste how sweet

                                            &

Please hold me the forgotten way       the wall pleads
        spray-paint face and voice of a damned poet
the darling damned poets       save them from themselves
        maybe it is us they need saving from
Source: Poetry (October 2013)
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Lines for painting on grains of rice

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