As the staghorn beetle with calipers

growing from the bony plate of its head, 

nestled among the leaves of the staghorn


sumac raising its concentrated flames as if 

to set the sky on fire: I shall pluck you with

the jaws of my brain. As if to focus on you


smears me out of focus: my aperture

narrows and my apogee widens toward

the horizontal eightball. You will never pry


my cold dead fingers from this

vanishing point. Who would

roll a strand of suns against


the teeth to know it's real? To heave

the universe through a lexical birth 

canal one Italy at a time, circling quarry


amid the lake's upended sky?




Places I've Been

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