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Debora Greger

A Woman on the Dump

Is it peace,
Is it a philosopher’s honeymoon, one finds
On the dump?
—Wallace Stevens
Out of the cracks of cups and their handles, missing,
the leaves unceremoniously tossed, unread,
from a stubble of coffee ground ever more finely
into these hollowed grounds,

the first shift coaxes bulldozers to life,
sphinxes to tease the riddled rubble
into fresh pyramids of rot. A staleness warms enough
to waft round the lord of all purveyed.

His to count the hauls past the yawning gates
of this New Giza into the Middle Kingdom’s
Late Intermediate Period. There, to purify,
to honor ourselves, we beg these offerings

of refuse be cast out. To the archaeologist

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Head, Perhaps Of An Angel

limestone, with traces of polychromy, c. 1250

Point Dume was the point,
he said, but we never came close,
no matter how far we walked the shale
broken from California.

Someone's garden
had slipped, hanging itself by a vine
from the cliffs of some new Babylon
past Malibu.

Drowning the words,
the wind didn't fling back in our faces,
the Pacific washed up a shell:
around an alabastron

of salt water for the dead,
seaweed rustled its papers, drying them out,
until it died. Waves kept crashing

[...] Read more

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