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Gary Percesepe 
Three Poems 



Dizzy but still alive 
Inside this conversation 
I ask if you have a sister 
And if she'll know me 
If I'm with you. 
Taking a purple 
Scrunchie off your wrist 
You pass it through 
Your hot hair then 
Point to some guy 
In the corner whose 
Spastic angel arms and 

Jacknife jacks are 
Comical but unrehearsed 
And in the mirror 
Now I see your sister 
There beside you 
Moving backward in a 

Perfect glide of unmarked years 
Her shining skin 

Her smooth dark calves 
Her hair holding the light of a 

Hundred glistening bodies 
The flawless curve of her neck. 

Her, dancing. 

21 February 1994 

for john ashbery 

She plows the carpet with a fast machine. 
She buys her clothes at the eight dollar store. 
She takes down the garlic from the top shelf. 
She bleeds and believes it is for you. 
She smiles at her feet in their silvery skates. 
She breathes the air you thought you knew. 
She knows that her collarbone and wrist are delicate. 
She writes to tell you that she cannot write. 
She snorts when she laughs which is often. 
She lies for fun and shoplifts with abandon. 
She undresses with the window open. 
She will take you back to your childhood if you let her. 
She lives down the hall in a room that is dreamed. 
She will walk in her sleep into your life. 
She will tell you this was your idea. 
She will make you believe it. 
She grew out of this corner when all were asleep. 
She is the consolation of the merely lonely. 
She feeds a frozen wolf in the kitchen. 
She had her eye on you from the beginning. 
She sees the poor cut down with a sharp grin. 
She waltzes on the roof, on the tragic brick. 
She is never near. What you need 
She cancels while looking up from her salad. 
She is never the last to know. 
She is strength when once it was allowed. 
She has appeared in Prague, without warning. 
She is after us. If you decide 
She is necessary it will lead to nowhere. 
She has the silent shape of your shadow on the bare wall. 
She cries into microphones and applauds despair. 
She hungers for more like you. 
She is the poetry of failure. 
She blinds the stars and beats fire into flakes. 
She howls at the moon. At night 
She enters the houses of the unborn, dancing. 
 24 March 1994 

for charbe, on her birthday 

Much later, 
We'll check this date for fleas 
The way that police photograph a 
Cash register. 
We've worked silence over 
Like pros, our best work together. 
I've done some checking 
On your horoscope and see that you're Aquarius, too. 
No matter, the future promises to 
Be good to us, self-medicated as we are. 
And right here it says, "All of this is 
Coming your way." 
A single teardrop rises into the 
Middle air, tired already of its short history. 
See that frozen piano? 
It's grinning too. 
Loosen up, dry your hair, 
You can sleep under my bed another year. 
5 february 1995 

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