The Center Is Only

The center is only fabulous:
say (or even think) lover, ring
and the iron filings in your brain
flock to the groove that goes
on and on without you.

Try abutilon, prion, quark and
the packet handed round
that no one penetrates
becomes a dressy carapace
patrolling places you fled
long ago, carrying away
the things you tried to
protect from words.

And you did. In that
heart-shaped box
you left behind:
a fifty drachma coin, a tiny
gold and silver knife, a lock
of bright hair, a skeleton
key, a button made
of bone.

. . .

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