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          Melbourne Beach, 1965
          By Nancy A. Henry

          It is the forgotten things that will eat
          your brilliant skin like rust.
          Before I knew myself I was
          music and a small bone,
          muscle around melody,
          my father the jaguar,
          my mother the moon.
          He spun her around
          on the slick parquet floor
          in the sapphire light,
          in the ruby light,
          in the gin and vermouth light of the bar
          as the sleepy child watched
          over turquoise paper parasol.
          If you have mercy on your heart,
          she will flower in silence.
          She will produce fruit for you,
          when you are dying of longing.
          There was a cherry in the glass
          a slice of orange
          speared by a sword
          the length of my smallest finger.
          What you refuse will crush
          your joy alive.
          Consider the ridiculous measure
          of your heart beats,

          life so short,
          the saxophones, brass angels
          spitting magic into the jeweled night.

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Document last modified on: 04/02/2006

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