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The Wax of the Paper Lantern Industry in Upper New England

Peter Jay Shippy

Our cottage floor is littered with chop-
Sticks, thick magazines, conch coffee cups,

White bras (I’m a good girl) and robot bits
From the toy rattus who came with few cues.

By the end of the lease one desires love
Without the poverty of touch. We discuss

The courtship songs of common field mice.
You read from the Englese directions:

         As day defirmas terra
         The rat king’s aria
         Swallows the opera.

The rosewood dresser reflects a box lantern
Purled with pearl sakura blossoms. Light turns

Dust into snow and rum stains into honey.
This was the time, just yesterday, that

That little brass band set up in the gazebo
And played us from bed to bar to Bar to bed.

I require “The St. James Infirmary Blues.”
Where have they flown? Nantucket? Block Island?

You tear an unctuous page from Vanity Fair
And stumble toward the bathroom. Moonlight

Licks a sensor and I hear your rodent sing.

Peter Jay Shippy

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