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Scott Abels

The world has changed. I have to love this one.
Prefix, in the actual moment
of getting to Mexico:
not running, but pursing
led broadly by affection
then, knowing I was nothing.
I am sitting still
& I never want to stop thinking about Ariel
the knife sharpener
(no one calls him Ariel)
whose shoes are always polished
who says his wife has a horse for a face
who will not explain
moving through the neighborhoods
with his bike & his whistle.
It is a similar pitch
anywhere you go
across Mexico.
It is nice to be desired
& sometimes this is enough
for an Island, a smile, an easy way
(there isn’t an Island)
out of self-indulgence
having already come a generous distance:
everyone knows this is nowhere.
Like my childhood river,
Prefix, where I stood, I sang
never again will I ramble.

I asked Ariel to change
the angle of my knife
which he could not.
Tomorrow, there will be oysters to open,
& goodbyes, which he will not like
translating take care
as be careful.
I must use the old languages of caution a little longer.


Scott Abels

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