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Bred to domestic affection

Sarah Mangold

Spencer’s parents had been
one man’s obsession
in American water

for Darwin evolution
was directionless
and morally neutral

side by side in public-school
their boots
entirely new

Fewer and fewer takers
worry about another mode of sincerity

the taking of Mr. Spencer’s pulse
burned down
a day or two

If twelve bottles and
fifty-seven octaves
you’d most likely have
limited interest in the finches

The house behind hers
a story admitted in passing
middle C notions of decency
a passion for science and engineering

And your need to do the right thing
Corn in captivity?
the short answer
to how were you born
let out his breath

Sarah Mangold

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