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Contributor: Michael H. Brownstein

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You go away an albino garden snake
and come home the color of gecko.
The air smell, the lake of legs,
this ether of vocabulary—
what is familiar in darkness different somehow,
even the familiar pattern of blemish and scar.
Tonight lightning comes without thunder,
tomorrow an almost blue sky
full of mountain’s breath, heat,
soiled chom chom, vendors of the motor bikes,
a click of guitar accompanied by insect and frog,
and one dark cloud melting until it too
blemishes the almost blue sky,
the almost always blue sky, even at night,
not blue black, but almost blue black,
the moon an icicle folding into shadow and sweat.
When the wind lifts the flower
of mang cou and braids the bamboo,
there is something you must learn to do,
the dust of day an imprint
on all of the clothes you wear.

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Michael H. Brownstein has nine poetry chapbooks including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and The Possibility of Sky and Hell (White Knuckle Press, 2013).


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