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I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.

If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms like tumours on our lips
it is because I hear a man climb stairs
and clear his throat outside our door.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Elements

The Accidents (Merlín)

That day I went into the trees
—Give me nothing

My scope was interwoven
birds sang their low

cuckoo thing
easily a wave

Small insects rose up into the wave of

—Ábreme a luzporta!

Swimming in mere air or sheer air
not quite sure

—Could about be
Yet why put such words in a single monstrance?

Open as those trees
Our mermaid is
its long branches trail out to a leaf or vein

My mermaid is
bark’s integument so salutory to view

Give me nothing
Give me not this monstrance
The elements

For which I went today in morning
my mouth black
in the lightcup of the trees

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