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The Hope Chest

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When I close my eyes there’s a white key.
But maybe it’s a box, so I can’t press it.

The sides are shell blue, but I can’t check
without turning the box. The musician

told me his sister and he would say Morgem
and expose the teeth and flare the nostrils

to express a particular affection. The white box
won’t say Morgem. Or Corbemsalad.

It must be a heartbreaking desk.
It says to be in on a secret

just means to know you’re in a secret — 
the pleasure’s like two people

beheld by a third in the act
of making meaning.

It says on one hospital floor
the humans die.

Another they give birth.
A third they grow new chins.
At a fourth they’re lopped.

When the floors mix by mistake,
it’s usually in the middle
where the desk rasps

under husks of  ink, and the nostrils
grow for air. We talk, never sing,

because music gives the god room to stretch
and the god kills by growing in the head.

Source: Poetry (March 2017)
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The Hope Chest

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