(The New Arrangement) – Dedicated to D. B.

Like a comb
                                                  found when unsearched for
missing some teeth…

Like forced smiles                      in a nursing home

Like a hurt animal                      trying to save some last moments

                                                  demarcated by some random feet of space

                                                  in the deep of an engulfing forest

                                                  (before the attack comes again).

This shelf

whose order was broken,

                                                  this shelf––

little holes of space––

belonging                                   no more together

than separate.

Dusty remnants…

                                                  Does the dusty plane

                                                  maintain a solid?

Array of sordid

                                                  two and three dimensions.

This shelf bares its items

like a gypsy traveler abandons his circus.

He glares as the lion there

and is no less pathetic.

                                                    He growls at command,

                                                  snaring with hate and hurt


                                                    prosthetic and decayed,

                                                        chipped off fangs.

Every roar betrays

                                                  a throng of pangs.

The shelf                                   laughs

and bares its soul––

                                                  some one took away

                                                         his things.

Some one took away,

from the shelf,

some things

contained                                   some one


                                                 some things


The shelf snickers and hisses



its maimed mouth.

And somewhere

                                                     a gypsy,

                                                     or a lion,

                                                  or an owner

                 mirrors and mimics

                 its shriveling sound.

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