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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.

--Dostoevsky

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
Words:262
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