Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Villain & the Helpless One

No flip-snap of the letterbox. No Sunday
parade outside my curtained window. I haunt

the vestibule in silence, wearing nothing,
wearing the hours like garments:

a gutter sparrow, all bones and desire.
Truth—dusty and avoidable—

collects like old boots beneath my low-sitting bed.
Vera, I beg myself, undo this thing you’ve done.

And softer: for the sake of unanswered questions,
Lord, save me from myself.

I’ve tied my own knot, took the part of both
the villain & the helpless one in some storybook,

locked in a steamer trunk, among the fox-fur coats,
the diary, & the long-lost, five-pronged key.  end  

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