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from Live from the Woodley Park Marriott, Washington, DC

Ryan Flaherty

                                Whatever is making noise ignores me.

                                The air is thick with perseverance, the tuning fork

                                of Switchgrass pales, seed heads sway

                                huge and dehisce.

                                                    A late dusk brightens.

                                                    What the Chinese call, return-shine,
                                                    fan chao, the air burning

                                                    as if from within, the fevered
                                                    light in the eyes of the almost dead.

                                                    It either breaks. Or it breaks.

                                          The “Messiaen” redux (its parenthesized walls):

                                          “chord blue sky
                                          day time lung”

                         Harvesting is a private reduced domain

                         at most one can bring down two,

                         maybe three at once.

                                               A bag of apples is good rest, so lie down.

Ryan Flaherty

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