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and st francis
and montgomery clift
and raoul duke
and the patriarch in his autumn
    (and, she said “john wayne”)
and the violence to the maintenance
    (“he used the wrench as a hammer”)
of the berms
    (“he got it all into a single sandbag”)
the water overtops
it washes silt into the cucumber garden
    (“the tomatoes used to be so sweet”)
the tubes fire
    (“sergeant, they want the watering”)
the counterbattery comes
    (“fire-for-effect on … my … pos”)
he calls the friendly fire, the fratricide, the not-yet-suicide
it come in the night
one sump-pump teen night in an acorn room
it were the fear
the prettiness of boys at school, outside the library on a redspot day
ties un-tied, jackets off
it was that rainy day outside the infirmary
steam in the classroom all the boys soaked
and those in shorts
with sleek legs like dolphins misplaced
yet eyeing under-desk the skirted high-socked girls in low heels
the calves crossed in that selfsame library,
one regards the medical literature
    (“each one a true story”)
so,
the failure to stand uprightly
the failure to speak upright
the failure to seek

the pope, perverts and me

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