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Coyotes, Motor Oil, Chiffon

Carol Guess

Wings shake dunnage off union docks, slough rockslides onto Chuckanut Drive. Bird of the harbor, of the terrible temper—I let you lure me up up up. Teach me how to build a city out of touch. Mornings I enter a room full of music. Scribble No Exit on the door in lipstick. Others move with crowds through crowds, thoughts entombed in cocktail chatter. The football player in my neighbor’s window is a cardboard figurine. Jeans on the line, a three-legged tabby, strawberries nesting in a cracked blue bowl. At noon-plus the noon bus pushes off from the station. Fear of dying like Isadora Duncan inhibits the driver from putting the top down. This is a city of bagpipes and re-ups. Pick up the tempo of Scruffy Allegiance. Come nightfall children drop books to win kickball—no, they’re kicking a soft-spoken boy.

Carol Guess

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