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April 15, 2024


By Julian O. Long


A little travelling music
away we stare past hard,
vertical shafts of keeping
bruise of ruined fruit
litter you sit in

then as gorilla sweat smell
growls at the back of my throat
quick as an eclipse

you wink

"Let's escape," I respond. "I'll boost
keys while keepers turn away."
We'll upend squads of motherhood
striding downhill to east Israel
our boots big comic stomps
we'll cleverly hide away in swamps
till keeping cease.

Finding a pool, we'll bathe our feet.
I'll wash the cage stink from your coat.
When we finally talk, I'll temporize.
"There was a forest, once," I'll say. You'll nod
and smile. "Not dogs," you'll chuckle gruffly
and click your teeth as you strip a twig
to pick lice from my ears. "Not dogs," I'll agree
and wonder if you mean some searchers or us
heathen comrades without a prayer or any
real words, not dogs good as any no-words
to mark our cynicism.

Soul behind bars,
I send you my presence
across a trench deeper than war --
any no-words between us, angels
and air, Shakespeare typed by chance

-- you save me from God.

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-03-21
Image(s) are public domain.
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