Readings — From the February 2019 issue

Garden

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From No Matter, which will be published in July by Tim Duggan Books.

Because of what I seemed reduced to
and I’d expected more
I wore this blank
effect
to the reception
not discouraged, willing
and only mildly tired though the lights
were out again east of Madison
and three or four helicopters hovering high above the little park

She’d have congress
with him on a bench they said
I pictured her backside
nodding at the bushes as he sat
comfortably, increasingly comfortably
and he would never settle, said that up front

Amazed they got away with it but then forgot
when the bombs blossomed vast
orange anemones near the end
of Clear and Present Danger I came vastly thanks
to him, my fly down and others in the audience
saw what I know not, and that was in a small town

A Shake Shack now carpets the little park
I climbed to a railroad apartment
long in all directions, known as an open-plan office
the lights were out anyway
to signify canapés,
at large but shouting
endless prayer to shrink from every person who talked
to me,
transaction

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