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Ka-Boom: A Translation of Sappho

Peter Shippy

[The words in brackets are supplied by conjecture]

The [man—Cuban cigar affixed] to [his fat lip—burns
in a Hebridean burr]

that [enhances the woman's lush heterodoxies.]
Their [sheepdog will va[r]nish

into English court painting] but [today he’s pleased
to pant and spit]. The [sun

is] the [color of piss in a blue basin.] The [sunbeams
have baked their mottled skin

into Bakelite. As] Aphrodite [spins acetates
of Bollywood-style jazz

they rise from the ottoman] like [tapeworms] and [dance
the peppermint Totentanz].

Peter Shippy

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