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Sequins are not stars

The way milk just leaps
away from the carton when you apply
the right angle.

This was my category. She doesn’t
even dream
about crying anymore

and so we speak the passing
of time and so
and so, on.

In this land of danger, I am walking
my thief home.
His pockets full with his hands

and air, his head
sinks low
on the horizon his shoulders make.

Our careless
hazard—guessing the steps down,
one miscue could lead to a misaligned spine.

Kept between us, I enter my name
into the raffle
for a new one and a car to drive it around in.

She is calm
and she doesn’t even show it. So we wear time,
speak of passing it; and on and on, so.

The angels loom
silent and lowly. They inhabit
a strange seat

in this world, almost able to touch
everything, to gain proof of the living. Lo, I am
knifing my gums, to spark

the silver there. I am tapping maples
and draining my sunrises. The sequins on her dress are not
stars and my purse

full of clamshells clacks away. The pitiful birds
drifting round indoors, startle
at mirrors and thud against the window.

Their transparent hope what makes them
less than holy, like so many
lanterns that scrape the riverbanks.

So much
for what anyone else
has to say.

___
Tony Mancus lives in Rosslyn, VA with his future wife and their two cats. He is co-founder of Flying Guillotine Press and he keeps a sloppy blog at inlandskirting.blogspot.com. Some of his poems are published or forthcoming at Phoebe, Verse, SpringGun, Vinyl, Barnstorm and elsewhere. He is happy to be returning to less formal work attire in the new year.