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Mark Cox

Ta Da


And so, the tour bus doors retract,

Presenting you

With the stone Aztec stairway

To a creepy roseate gravy

Of renewal and blood.


Below that dawn, itís clear:

Our easements are conditional.

The body has no right of way.

Youíll have to wait your turn


Behind the tour group of feral dogs

And the shit-flecked toilet-swirl of crows,

Never, as we are, limited to one

carrion bag apiece (the dead being duty-free).


Then, here at last, the Montezuman chalet

Of civic martyrdom and sanitation,

Braided vine rivulets of blood-letting,

The font of your cupped hands


Raised up, the skyís wound coagulating

From peach to nuclear orange.

There may-could be a noble lineage

Of self-sacrifice, but the circle you travel in


All have season passes for

The Yucatan white-water adventure,

then lunch at Planet Hollywood.

In the end, the unthinkable, the unholy,


The heartless, becomes no more

Than coring an apple, pitting a fig,

Scooping a heaping fingernail

of coke to each ruined nostril.


You know how those sun gods can be:

Utilities are never covered

And you do what you have to

To pay the rent.

Mark Cox teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at UNC-Wilmington and in the Vermont College MFA Program. His latest books are Natural Causes, (Pitt Poetry Series, 2004) and Thirty-seven Years from the Stone (Pitt Poetry Series, 1998).

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