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Eric Abbott

… & when the strong surrender it begins,
but Bella, it is also the end of terror, a twin

laying lashed to a mattress in a basement enduring
days and days of rain, her peace, not unlike water, as if

you could, just choose, as if you could, loose your stranglehold,
be showered in pronouns and smile, as if bravery were contagious.

Every day, never another today, then, up and underway, just charming.

There is no one person singing this ‘and I am’ hymn.
This is the pixel hour, still and still and still, as if

getting out of bed isn’t an epic, the winnowing
of minutes from what’s required to make it home unbroken.

Whether I click on a thousand slivers of the whole
shebang or live an instant in one shivering derangement

of promise, I am left with the net, never the wind.

The end is always the same. The moon remains in the sky.
I am still wet with what I have always been. I must change

my password if I am to escape this time, the blindness
of sleep and a lie, dying is easy, to go on going, musing

this whim, a knife. One of history’s cartoonish miniature men,
attempting to hold the moon captive in a gripless fist, my mouth

too full of gone, the essence of gentleness, to intone the notes
of song, I chew the delusion of good people and I spit.

Virtue is wholly in the effort, as to a wife, return, no man.

Shame in the face of what’s there is trust. As if to love was
other than a form of death, compound ghost, strange green glow

at sea. This drooping peninsula, this dream, this city glittering
with all its cisterns, this moon witless on the avenue, giddy

to swoon after pulling her all-night stint of tricks. If home only
were an end, insight, nonesuch cuntstruck daydreams no more,

the tides, tulips, eucalyptus, sorry, I forgot, this act, unapplauded.
Moonglow, say it, I say too much. You talk now. I’m listening and what.

Eric Abbott

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