a full-grown man in his ear

Jeff Encke

                 across the floor
giant thistles

                waving in the ocean

betraying him with a vulture

a lost sight            the first to see

        a woman barefoot

in bed,                 staring at hope

            —clinging to the businessman

of his dreams

                        he felt on his back
nobody to be seen

navel to navel                his horse

                        came riding up

I am so much older
failed to notice the silver-shafted

                                            knife

clawing the handle
                   by the pond

the message of the dolls

practicing routines
                           in thick swarms

                           although she

already settled upon her body

the orphan:             the rutted potato
her village some forty-eight hours

          a kind of white, like snow

                   by this extended absence
she laid eyes on God

went into a day and night

                           without waking

              informed in a vision
concerned with quotas

lost to men,            frequently clumsy
this cold comfort

                       when there is fear of tigers
                          always hard to accept

everything a weeping clown

he drifted toward uselessness

                          loss of odes

he called out to the landscape

                   dunes with plumes

of soft mountains

his meter too lionheaded

shapes too goatbodied

given the improbability

some strength of the water-carrier

                       degraded by thought

as unconsciousness arrived
his heart missed

                       maybe I’ll cheat you
listening to the rolling of rumors

                     in front of the house

a famous, unexpected night
between campfires

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