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It's Time For a New Pair of Shoes

I have become familiar
with swollen tongues,
crooked and scarred

with black burns;
there is fear that grabs
hold of my neck.

I've looked into eyes,
that sting like needles,
lids heavy and rims dark

from lack of sleep;
it is hunger that pours
from a broken cup.

I feel laces bind
and fray at the end
of days;

my soles are worn,
fingertips feel rough
against soft leather,

I leave scuff marks
on hardwood floors.

Surfer Rosa

I imagine her name is Marguerite,
she plays mandolin or piano;
no, it is a guitar; it has to be guitar

the only instrument capable
of drawing the fragrance from her hair.
There's a name carved in the wood,
barely legible, Davis, she whispers.
Orchids flow in the fold of her skirt,

a sparrow curves around an ill moon.
I imagine her asleep in a pool of green
on Via Del Corso.
The city drops, she cradles

it in the crook of her arm,
Fellini lied;
there are many reasons to fall in love.

Alfred Hitchcock gives Cary Grant Stage Direction

Be prepared, she will arrive promptly,
smoking a cigarette, to meet your train.

It will be 1:15, you will be brave, yet
afraid, midday makes you nervous.

Look both ways for her; to the right,
past newsvendors, to the left down

a narrow aisle above the rails, your
eyes slightly moist, mouth tense.

She will notice you in five minutes,
glance warily in the opposite direction,

it is a test. Her approach will be slow
at first; steps punctuated by your breath,

resist the impulse to run, wait until she
walks past and puts her cigarette out,

then she'll turn up the stairs to Richelieu;
that is your cue to leave the station,

hail a cab and give the driver seventy-five
francs; tell him to drive west as fast as he can