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[How like a perfectly built wall]

Boyer Rickel

How like a perfectly built wall

the naked Celts were, a howling form

of skin—a human skirl

horrifying the Roman warriors.

We strip off our clothes to make love;

to bathe. Once on a beach at night

I stripped and walked from air into water

the same temperature, my body

pressed against a wall of welcome.

The Celts stripped before taking up their shields

and swords and streaming into battle—torcs

coiled like golden snakes around their necks

their only armor. Light off such a wall

posits we cannot love both truth

and authority. Who wouldn’t fall back?

Boyer Rickel

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