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House of Anniversaries

Alice B. Fogel

It starts on paper                                carried over the threshold shoreline
even if it started on the internet                                          an ether wave

of hello forever more one paper date       by which to navigate by the stars
in your eyes                                                           to cotton to your love

of three leather armchairs armloads                of forget-me-nots over time
the house like a boat shifts                                angles untrue a new slant

to the wooden floors                                       you every time sweets iron
things out again new wool              over your eyes eventually see the light

of day house and night house so you sail                       from year to year
through the eighth bronze age past                                  the ageless age

of enlightenment formed from nine    potsherds willed to the sun and moon
which if you’ll recall you                                                     still are to you

and which illuminate who orbits whom                     who tithes from the tin
who steals the center of the universe               in twelve silken tones laced

with bad luck                                references to how sometimes you might
as well be from Mars                                 which doesn’t necessarily mean

that you are Venus but still you know         you dovetail you spoon you skip
ivory to save the fourteen elephants in the room where instead side by side

you gaze at a crystal ball aglow with      evening news sitcoms reality shows
up less and less able to scale the twenty-league wall of China between you

and your silver lining years                           and years rising daily charting
rough seas you hardly notice also hold     thirty pearls thirty-five coral reefs

teeming with life like pirated      chests as yet unburied blessings heartbeats
count them now lift them nearly                                weightless one by one

forty rubies forty-five sapphires before              they weigh too much cause
a gold rush from what might’ve been   for sixty years a bedrock of diamond

Alice B. Fogel

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