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Laura Carter

Please, if you know the difference between
the hand and the cradle that rocks un-
abated, do not hide the hand from the one
in need. Do not ostracize the one
who is angry. This poem begs for the grace
of chopsticks in thin hands. The hands beg for
other hands. The voice wants to make itself into a
thin stream of smoke, sucking in and out on itself,
pulling the even patchouli breaths out of
modulated vapor.
Do not ostracize the poem because he can't
tell a woman from a tulip. Do not
ostracize the beginning of a has-been, a non-
career. Do not ostracize the
man on the bus in the green plaid
shirt, the one who smells like sulphur
and cana lilies. Embrace him. He could be
Christ in a vagrant moment, moving in
time with orchid and ruah,
the underside of his thigh needing
a tube of Polysporin. Do not
ostracize the toothless. With teeth
we sear metal and serate ourselves,
we are subject to the drug of
a kiss. With kisses we convince, leave the roll-
away rolled
, we connive with alliterative
devices, we are able to hide our
skank. Do not ostracize yourself for
this. Take the bus. File yourself down to
the quick of a root, a bolt. It is time to
mix metaphors. The poem cannot
tell you where to heal, how to find the crux of the matter,
the what factor, the thing that counts.

Laura Carter

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Author Discusses Poems