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Animal Life in Bucharest: Poems

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John Degen John Degen


shimmer & disappear

you are the girl who
drifts in and out
of my city

in London,
you confess virginity
on the lower of two
bus levels;
you laugh through
three films inarow
drinking cider from
a tin

in New York,
you never leave
the bridges, any
of them, all of them;
a river wind pushes
through your curls
you are traffic

Toronto is a seat
beneath olive trees in
the spring, for you
and all the men
who make characters of you

and at the western
edge, in the
unnameable southwest,
you run out
into desert, hoping
the heat will flatten you
to nothing


pendrith mini variety

Paul leaves his Christmas lights
lit through February,
and parks at a slant
to amuse his wife

there are alleyways
that can turn this city
into a seaport
masts and flagpoles
from the baseball standards in
Christie Pits;
fish in mist and funk

without a living room,
the corner house couple
watch television
in racks of potato chips
and several coolers;
not close enough to touch,
but together and
waiting to be interrupted

in the event of deliberate
catastrophe, their small store
would continue three days
or less, and Paul
would drive past it,
on his way to the countryside
to release his cats