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The Only Turquoise Left in the Animal Kingdom.

THE ONLY TURQUOISE LEFT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

   I say this having
   overheard
   too much, having
   fixated on the
   terminology--
   the soffit, someone's
   bay laurel next
   door. Windshield
   wipers might
   as well be
   Greek, what
   with all their
   pursuing. I remember
   the wasp's nests,
   which we poisoned
   but never took
   down. The lack,
   someone said. What
   fills the lack,
   someone said.

   I couldn't
   look in your
   eyes. They were like
   a flashlight
   in a child's mouth,
   like nickels in
   the dryer. It all
   filled up, becoming
   that capsule that
   we would want
   to open later
   on, though opening
   it would also be
   sacrilege.

   I don't know
   anything about
   kingfishers
   but how turquoise
   they are--the
   only turquoise left
   in the animal
   kingdom. They
   show up in all
   these children's
   books. Dismantlement,
   someone said.
   Disappearance,
   someone said. It
   made sense
   that that flume that
   carried us up
   would eventually
   lay waste to
   this neighborhood,
   those lime
   trees, the sheds
   falling into
   themselves with a
   grateful oh.

   If I've seen
   trapdoors, it's
   behind that one house
   that you
   like, opening
   to some cellar that
   vaguely reminds
   you of
   moss. I don't
   want to be
   sentimental, like
   how your eyes
   open underwater
   and it all
   seems winsome,
   blurrier. There is
   a pendulum,
   and in trying for
   the pylon it never
   gets there. I won't
   finish this
   poem. If I do,
   I'll cross out the
   names with the juice
   from two
   plums.

   The commitment,
   they said. Swells of
   music, they
   said. I hear how
   kiss rhymes with
   truce. If
   I can get away
   from what's
   preordained,
   can find
   that first
   tsetse that landed
   on your face. If
   I can find
   something other
   than cancellation. If in
   bathroom stalls
   I can draw
   versions of the
   moon. Something
   other than blood,
   they said. Something
   moral, they said.

   Now that
   the scaffolding is at
   our feet, imploded,
   like a carnival
   tent, I say what
   I have been
   trying to say--
   this was commitment.
   I woke near
   the contaminated
   beaches that I
   chose to live
   by. Helicopters
   flew over us and
   censured the
   dogs. I came back
   to the city,
   the jasmine, drunk
   crows that trip through
   an intersection.
   The only thing left
   to prove is how
   little there
   is left to
   prove.
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Article Details
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Author:Ciccotelli, Darin
Publication:Colorado Review: A Journal of Contemporary Literature
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jun 22, 2013
Words:374
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