from “Twenty Collars”

15.
Life itself signed
The pock-faced earl
Sitting and looking down and straining over the atlas
As diapers climbed out a cloud, and dubbing over his chains,
“I understand ALL TOO WELL what you mean! Understanding while on
foot kills me instantly.
And that has dangled in its dullness for so long
we need the threat of violence to sense our attachment. But this value was
never dull.
As diapers climbed out of a cloud.”

16.
A treble clef entered the vault with a baby hung from the teat
A hand of circus fire was making sexy flamingos in the air ==
“all this—she lowed—where hair would be”

For it is a friend like me who ever haunts me and at the surface feeds me
the poison of everything I am to see otherwise—

*

Farnoosh Fathi is the author of Great Guns (Canarium Books) and the forthcoming Granny Cloud (NYRB Poets) , editor of Joan Murray: Drafts, Fragments, and Poems (NYRB Poets) and founder of the Young Artists Language and Devotion Alliance (YALDA). She lives in New York.

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