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Brent Armendinger
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1 Times 28
             for and after Lyn Hejinian
Between hyphen                               and If we insist on cupping the milk of illness, a thin grass aurora
question song is clotting                    is ache beyond the patio. What is the meaning of belong
                                                     when you run from the place where you were born. The
                                                     radiator in the truck smells like awkward talking. If you are
                                                     small you pray for sunburns. We don’t understand how a
                                                     noise can break a tree, then the needs of the body disperse
                                                     like a wrecked ant hill. Look for evidence of weakness in
beauty. We found ourselves talking through a tunnel to a friend in despair and we seemed
necessary. Gray sky hit the windows like wet and shame. Each sentence was a plea to be a
galaxy itself, pressing against the dust of another immediately near. It is challenging to
someone who is taught to be apologetic, a book of welts. Maybe their response to the sea is
to stand. Remember that the highway is translated envy. I wanted to eat her hate for me,
and him too, to be able to say, you too are hated this way. I fix my eyes from chainsaw to
cloud. We thought to argue with the interpreter of dreams, until the noon siren sounded like
whales and the cars were hushed. One can sleep productively by crossing out errands on a
calendar, buying the proper deodorant, and gazing at no one in the same café each Saturday.
I had to remember that it had all happened even if it now existed outside of me, this feeling
of nothing fits, else every country claim me. We feel responsible for all the electricity
between bodies. Salt-cheeked and barefoot the pockets of the child overflowing with shells.
In that house water was a guest and family was work not to simply shift to a preferred
meaning. Dogs were barking the names of nobody. The sky almost blind fumbling for the
kitchen light, the shortest distance between the body and the page, a rhyme instead of aging.
If I wrote another word the letters would have started to hyperventilate, forgetting gills
underwater; I put a period there between the night sisters wailing until they could be Seven, a
needle of cold light. The little record player, painted like a pair of blue jeans. If you say my
does a thought leave the mind through the larynx, does breath depart lungs. When emblems
are made by hand in clay or yarn, a saint blooms into fear. Smell is the sound of skin
undoing so I press my ear to where his watch had been. A blister silver as lake.
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