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We’ve got an Andy Warhol sofa

in the living room. Cobalt blue

on stout, pale feet

of something sleek and shamelessly

unwooden. And fade-marks

facing East, hidden safely beneath

a pillow of burnt tangerine

and cream on the reverse.

It’s somehow the oldest thing

about this place,

though the radiators came first—

upright tight-lipped taffy lanes

encased in layers of chipped meringue

more ancient than the cellar

where the leopard slugs live.

And then there’s me,

the anachronist kid—fingering braids

like hot pistols, brushing antennae

over clumps of fate in the distal

parts of the room.

To feel most alive

by default in this tomb

of artifacts—

what do you make of that,

my short stranger?

All the crypts and galleries,

with bone dust and

third-floor mezzanines,

in pending danger of collapse

if discovered

that all it takes

to keep the hounds at bay—

all the white-tusked heralds

of our final days,

conspiring to an end—

is a pop-art relic

or a death-bound friend


of a past outlived,




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