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Lisa M. Cole

Dear Alice,

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I see your worried animal
holding a broken clock.

I hear your wafer whispering, Eat Me,
& I am alarmed.

At the solstice you pray to the sly cat.
He swallows the stars, & dissolves into
a charade of light. You fall to your knees

for the blue worm (that rogue);
for the red queen (that wretch).
You wonder at her roses;
her lunar illusions.
You ask, what is exile?

I am not jealous. Look: your
descent into that long cave.

I too have heard the breathing
of chromed bruises

after a long cascade
into shameful chasms.

I too am a dulled refugee.

After these lucid visions,
as one, we will bury, bury
what is not clean.

A Thin Wire

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Hope is a very thin wire
but I press the horse, (who is not golden).
I keep Alice in the never-dawn,

in her dark-laden day,
in the summer of every.

Serendipity unleashed her
to the rabbit, to the cat,
the hatter, the queen, but no man.

I am finally jealous.

Crimson Clocks

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Never rely on desire to tell you the truth." --Jill Alexander Essbaum

Cinderella, don’t wear the blue dress.
Glue your shoes to your feet
so no one will find you.

Trust me. The suitor
only tends his ivy. He is
ice bound & rising.

He sleepwalks in smoke & is
angled in a white silhouette.

The sweat on his lip;
his wet kiss will fool

you into a cyclone haze;
into a crimson clock,
& then cast you into midnight.

He will have petal hands; windmill hands.
He will touch you only in gusts;
put your heart into a glass casket.

I know. I have been where you are.
Climb out of his window;
don’t wait for the chimes.

Snitch Heart

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When will you stop
walking on glass?

This is real life, real life.
This is when dirt
is better. See that
good dirt? The ice;
the iceberg is also good.
Do you see this? Thirst is
quenched by icebergs.

This is the matinee of desire.
We are its convicts.

This is the rape of the blue flower.
Travel good on the California
night train.

I am no trophy;
I am the crusher; the mad dog.

I am overcome:
these goons of heart.

Is this my fault, my fault?
Are you selling god?

The Stain

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The roads are blue like veins.

Dylan's Idiot wind plays on the radio, &
I hazard a trophy.

This is a blister and callous conversation.
She grits her teeth, she nurses her beer
between her legs.

Here is the unloosened catalyst & chemistry
of the gold peak.

Look at those allies and spies.

You are dumb. You are sick
like a rabid dog in peril.

Perception can be a lie.
What is tender:

Sometimes I like to see things
with my blind eye.

Halloween masks
were never cover enough.

Murder on the street.

Look: martyr in the street.
A felony. The hooligans.
The proximity of grace.

Moron moon.
What ails you?
Water color run.

Houdini disappears me.

Cut me.
Drown me out this time around.

Dear stain,
This is a death.

I deserve it all.
I am sick of you; suffocate my regret.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
I don't want to be afraid.

I am in the waiting line. The waiting room.
I take the sharp pills & as you asked
I cut you with an exact night.

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