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Our heads are full of shadows:

———the bitter and betrayed,
—————-—lovers, accusers, avatars,
———the friend who drank
—————-—phantom after phantom,
———the lost extremities
—————-—who wander
———the heads they leave behind.
———We are not ourselves
————————–—without them.

———I dreamt once of a man
—————-—with a body so sheer,
———I draped him
—————-—over a cage of birds.
———Goodnight, I sang,
—————-—sentimental and afraid.

———I draped him on a mirror.
———I wrote on him,
—————-—bird, mirror, friend:
to help with the uncertainty.

———I drank to my friend, ghost
———after ghost, casualty of a spirit
———of permission
—————-—and self-reproach.

———I do not know
—————-—where pleasure leads,
———only that it blows us up
———like balloons,
—————-—and then we drift.

———Breathing shallows.
———We wake inside the decade of our birth.

———Will I ever leave my nightmares
———to the winter garden
—————-—where they melt at dawn
———into the clear
—————-—bright features of unease.

———Was it the Holy Spirit who said,
———the suppression of doubt
————————–—breeds monsters.
———Was it my friend.

———I want to tell a ghost out there,
———please stay.
———Kneel and blow the embers.

———And in that moment, I am
—————-—not the flesh
—————-—that suffers.
—————-—But a rise in the fire.
———A parcel of breath with smoke inside.



Bruce Bond is the author of thirty-four books, most recently including Patmos (Juniper Prize, UMass), Behemoth (New Criterion Prize), Liberation of Dissonance (Schaffner Award for Literature in Music, Schaffner), and Invention of the Wilderness (LSU).




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