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Again, From the Beginning


Love hangs a sign
written in huge letters
but your mouth won't form the words.
The right places never held meaning
and though you knew life
wasn't art, you wanted it to be:
the confessional too easy a box
to enter and leave or East
becoming solidly East because the map said so.
Not understanding
but acquiescence to form. Flowers on a tomb.
The cars passing and then gone
along the avenues suggested a moral
equation you had to follow
to know. The yellow hills made you lose
heart, but the sounds of pity
heard through the intercom in the broken
tongue of your city!
You'll never translate them,
but you are tracing
their shapes in the palms of hands.
You are recognizing their signature
on the calligraphed backs
along the interstate
and in the meaningless body America
promises at each exit.
You cannot get home.
You have not done your job.

-Claudia Keelan


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