Black Jack

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Catch the tiger dream’s tail; honey & flax, blackberries pounded into pink cream, the same dream where the test–about the cast of the First World War, central and supporting, and the foley man, best boy and gaffer—is in five minutes and I can only remember Germany’s rancour; the salty, chemical smell of a tweaked brain; where the good parts are, don’t hit them, don’t hit yourself THERE; clothes that are right and look wrong; the litany _Peyton Place, Hail Mary full of grace_; renowned Joyce scholar reading Ulysses one page a day somehow neglects the cross made of a brush and scissors; the cool air and diffuse light through an orange scrim obscures the sounds, explosive then the quiescence of dying: what is more still?; in class, someone is afraid for their sister in Ottawa, locked down; the ugliness, of Colville’s elderly Rhoda is the aesthetic of privacy: her beauty is fugitive for decades; an old woman grabs my shoulder and tells me to move; I look at her like I am the “Twizzler-sized garter snake” rescued yesterday and now doped up, healing its broken back; the snake’s dreams of Peeps-sized mice, the old lady’s soft, scarce hair; pass the Stay-Puft marshmallow/man at Malabar; keep your eyed open is my lesson, the reduction boiled out of 25 years; the men I pass are not indifferent but oblivious; Black Jack Bouvier: my father my father’s voice, asking to come home; sorrow metastasis, a pain too great to render> just the way the animal is made to move. Still, it pulls away and its defiance is the other part of the dream where I am high on your shoulders and the world is intact.

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