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Notes That Must Resolve

Peter Jay Shippy

Those who need to know who I am know
Who you are. Tulsa is not from Tulsa.

Syracuse is from Liverpool. The woman
Who looks is in fact a looker, but

She’s unwilling to contract her dialogues
To fit into your bubble. Does not

Necessarily matters, now, doesn’t it?
While you lie awake dreaming up vogue

Scenarios, the undeniable specs
Are attacking your land—check the roots—

Your signatories are on fire. Everyone’s
Outside with butter knives and toothbrushes

Scraping ice from their cars and stoops
With belt buckles and skeleton keys.

Or is it evidence they’re removing?
Fingerprints and reflective surfaces?

Or are they leaving high signs? Last gas
For 10,000 light years? Washington slept here?

When they speak of you they speak of you
In quotation marks within quotation marks,

“This is ‘Smith.’ She likes to be called ‘Jones.’”
Then coffee and pie. Then they’ll kill you dead

Like that chapter with mold and bread.

Peter Jay Shippy

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