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Two Words.

In a restaurant, red wine bottles scattered about the table,
I multiplied two words by each other.
I waited for the sum and stared at pigeons
pecking at the window jamb,
to where raindrops steered a rowboat over my shame--
sun's light crossing the floor and over the delicate feet of women.
I read the book because I was really looking at perfect bare shoulders.

The wine glass was waiting for me to escort it into the pine groves.
While boughs cleaved Christmas joy in two,
a swarm of birds strolled by, long-nosed and angry,
across shallows that teemed with three-headed trout--
no one asked for God's mercy or other favors.

Everyone preferred to look at the latest demonstration
shaking the undergrowth. I went too
but in search of enchanted berries.

Content in the ornate, lighted pleasure park,
my heart smiled like the famous Pleiades.
This strange awakening
stirred a package in my chest,
rattling apart its brittle, taped skull.

Looking like burning fingers and tied to the next tree,
a tucked reindeer stood up. Startled, it thought
momentarily about other pastures ...

As a Spanish spring was being passed to many outstretched
hands from the train scuffing by
on a track veering somewhere north,
a corrupt pleasure
scattered a yellowing stack
of commemorative pamphlets
and delivered them to the world.

Sleeping, I multiplied two words together.


1961
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Article Details
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Author:Hjalmarsson, Johann
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:227
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