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by April Ardis Anderson
Blindsiding bellows
Hurl serrated star shavings
That gnaw and infect
With cold
On their way to oblivion

Soul flesh is torn away
Leaving open wounds for irritability,
Frustration, and lack-o'-will;
Freely given sacrifices to the great

Stepping off the barren expressway
Suffocated by virgin ice,
I venture three prints into the drifts,
Pause on the fourth,
Head cocked, listening.

I catch a moan
Out of tune with the
Silence-extinguishing roar
And anxiously await its siblings.

None are conceived.

Shrugging and dismissing it
To disease-incited hysterium, I continue,
About to honor the bleached soap flake marble
With another rubbercut
Identical to previous editions.

But gut prevents, and
With hovered apocalyptic boot,
Mine head swivels too far
For conservative neck.
The body follows, twists, topples.

For fear of being forgotten,
Digested by the moistened down,
I struggle for a more vertical pose and,
incidentally, jack-nipped visage
Meets sodden, black nylon glove.

Now with focused caution
After elevating to a penitent pose,
I excavate the contorted caverns
In possession of and around
The flaccid five-headed hydra.

Egads! Homo sapius!
Erect on a horizontal slab
With an orientation fit for the morgue!
Yet grey forked tongue fingerlets
Evade his stone isosceles nostrils.

Candy-apple red ears
Aged and weedishly growing
Cannot devour every pesky fleck
So in turn are swarmed,
Their vacuousness filled.

Sliding under covers beside him
Then taking their place on top,
I relieve the coat zipper of its duty
Spread wide foreign fabric dryness
And impose a plasmic rhythm on his.

Soon, I know
Soon, innately,
Help in boisterous reassurance
Shall parade in as
An odd trinket in this no man's land.

I'll take one last look
At his clamshell eyelids
And the silver moss
That spans rampantly from
Corner to crack of the granite.

They'll come
Shake my hand
And with care
Shove me aside;
That is how it is.

Until rescue, I'll blanket
Won't let him be forgotten
Unless I can slip away, too.
Should all bury us both,
Together we'll be warm.

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Copyright © 1998 by April Ardis Anderson. All rights reserved.