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Alexis Quinlan
POEMS
 

Discernment

On the many ways you have learned about books to protect
against the anniversaries, which accumulate anyway like silverfish

at a convention called to cast the final vote for the best, based on their silverfish
standards of quality. When she died. Long chapters gone to lace, others razored

out, the ending plucked clean. Memory, always suspect, took the blow,
opening up whole latex-kissed shelves of composition board. Now free. Wheeling.

You forgot to request Ave Maria at the funeral, you
were stunned the organist didn't divine the church mouse anthem,

you would have and you would have
but (and thank the BVM herself) the mother only gets one funeral.

Not over the little things, quibbling. Silverfish have no light of their own but you've flash.
Let the epilogues get fat on errata, anything can paginate if you'll only keep an open

binding, where all the lost chapters meet to make a macadam cowboy opera, key of C for cords
cut, hinting mercury for a bereft that goes unnoticed while she's taking your temperature.