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Zhuchka's Love Letter to the End.

... a beastly trick, a vile trick--to take a piece of bread, the soft part, stick a pin in it, and toss it to some yard dog, the kind that's so hungry it will swallow whatever it gets without chewing it, and then watch what happens.


Before the roosters crow I hear the curtains wheeze. My heart is a bear trap with a fox's paw caught in its teeth. There is a torn sack of flour in the cupboard, I can smell fear warming the flour mites' breath. The postman offers me his foot--I know he's poisoned his bootlaces. Deep in the house tables are tipped over, chairs dragged across floorboards, splinters unearthed. From here I can see the church steeple's window streaked with snail trails. Sawdust on the slaughter hall's floor like snowfall-- my throat a torn nest. The wind, with its rubber tongue, tries in vain to rub out the moths' chalky eyes--the baker's palms the color of bruised pears. I sit under my master's bedroom window. I can make out the raspy voices of winter coats crammed into an overcrowded closet, vicariously reliving the memories of their wearers: the tick-infested wool & wind-shaken cicada shells of autumn nights--empty bottles of perfume lulled to sleep by a bride's brutal lullaby.

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Author:Mulholland, Joseph
Publication:The Carolina Quarterly
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jun 22, 2014
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