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“and ’tis known a pretty piece of flesh am I.”
— Shakespeare

… is just simple brass trapezoids, organs
attached to organs, atoms to atoms.

The thermometer’s quicksilver lengthens.
Wheels whirr. Steam steams. These retrograde systems,

archaic even, concentric streamlined
gadgets, working elements that Dante

called hell, all of this, everything I find
inside myself, this heart beating away

in the dark, will one day melt into air.
Stop. Cease. Listen. Hear it? The cynic’s star

laughs, makes signs of the hobo and the bum.
What a piece of work caught between despair

and joy. I count the beats, play the guitar
and wait. I’m air. I’m song. I am rhythm.