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From Your Young Cousin

by JULIA LANDAU

Poor Poe turned white and cold
and hollered out into the hollow deep:
Where is the tin can that contains my heart?
It is full of worms and other organisms.
It cannot make a peep.

Edgar paints his skin with soil.
Poor thing wronged again,
Paint it black it might bleed oil.
A well, oozing in relief,
Is finally spent.

Oh, soft dark bottom, breathing becomes you,
You are too tired to be cautious.
Paint to black, I say! Love the night!
I never knew you to be so suspicious
(never victim so pernicious)

But it’s easy to get carried away–
To cry out to unselfish blind angels,
To mistrust blackhearted love
Which is not warm, but beats and bleeds
(A victim so pernicious)

Porcupine takes a laugh from the spine
Breastfed on bourbon
She never liked the stuff
And stands aghast at the clothesline.
“I could never touch cotton.”

“Rough stitches,” said the yarn
“I don’t want to raise alarm,
But me and hay are at odds
Since we fought it out in the barn.”

You were born solo, I was a twin
Earth is set in her ways,
She’ll never make it back again.
Go tell the old rooster to crow.

JULIA LANDAU can be reached at: julia@julialandau.com

 

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