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Pearl

Pearl, 1998, powerHouse Books, New York

Alba’s roach

alba left a roach and I got it:
perfumed sardanopolos in flames of decay,
hunched abandon over a web of ways,
ideas that had fluttered as hand
on glass of wine, there is very little
value in defining anything, a flower
rose from my breast and I planted it
there, where francesco had seen the suitcase
dripping blood; conceivably the host
had planned for these shortcomings,
a dreadful blast that had shuddered
near muntins of blessed deceit, the way
the fingers of her hand respond

but there’s more: a perfumed ecstasy
I couldn’t hold, till the guests had all
turned to a cold night, it was like the smell
of a situation, a society, concurring
in a rapidly diminishing fire of pipes.

a new day hath dawned
alba’s roach is gone

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