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At the hour of our birth.

This slaughterhouse, this Versailles--how easy to make claims, as another man, in another time, dismembers his mother, in homage, in brilliance, in stupefaction as rich as the cheesy mutual anguish of his birth hour: the dumb avidity, the breath like cold liquid fire poured down his throat, the first breath containing all of life, each breath after only a repetition, a reprise: he stuffs her hands in his pockets, steps back, sways--it is night, stardust: "Take your hands off me," he says, laughs, catches a glimpse of his face in the window and stares: Whose blood, whose pure excellence exhibited here, what face is this that will know everything, see clearly?
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Author:Smith, Charlie
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:May 1, 1993
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