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Poetry: Natural History

 

 

he has not made his home among them.
Their customs are not his, and,
though he moves among them, it is
without ease, or purpose.
                           He is not
one of their people.  He lodges,
alone and unencumbered, and
though the space is structured,
he sees in the order other walls,
different dimensions.
                       Old furniture,
pictures and magasines carry around them
extra relationships, unseen familiarities.

He has no place in their city.
Although he knows names and gestures,
his conversations are depthless,
polite.
          His laughter is measured.
He shares his evenings, his mornings,
without communion.         No man
sees the hair on his belly.  No woman
hears his uninterrupted pulse.
Among them, he is alien:
elsewhere would his journey
imply a return.
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