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From “Nocturnes”

Beautiful moon     the murderer begins to sing
    The thief takes off his mask     to smell     the heliotrope

A junkie steals asters from a rich man’s grave
    And spreads them     on the modest mound of his mother

A lone girl walks with moonlit haste     in the shadow of
    the maquiladoras
Pol Pot sleeps     counting heaven’s lambs
    His ex-wife is learning ikebana
A pretty boy dances naked in a cage
Twelve or thirteen     he is brown and slender
He sings     My father sold me to the hillside wolves
For a snort of the white dragon

The sky does not judge     it’s black and starless
    The geese squawking high     must make their destination
The corpse of my love     reappears in a dream
    The corpse of my love unzips     his own body bag
The monkey claps and claps     his cymbals are tired
Prosperity     decline     what does it matter?
“A Death blow is a Life blow to Some”
     Tell them     Emily     those woolly ministers

Chopin’s fingers play     soft     soft     soft
    Comforting the beasts     and     flowers

This poem originally ran in the December 2, 2010, issue of the magazine.