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The Parts of Sleep and Love by Pattiann Rogers
published in Volume 3, Issue 3 on July 8th, 1996

Part climbing in and closing
the lid of the trunk at the bottom
of the sea.  Part entering, paw

by poised paw, the black brush mound,
that slum pile hiding away many mouth-sized
slithers and squeaks.  Part splitting
the trunk of a fir tree for fire,

part fir fire, part fir ashes.

Part lover splitting the sea
with his axe down to its poised roots.
Part pawing and piling, part tangling

and locking, part allowing the lover
like a living slither of sea-fire

to enter.  Part sky, with its whole breath
and body, holding down the lid of the sea.
Part locking the trunk from within, keeping
the sea of the lover outside.  Part stirring

and stroking again, the smoldering
mound of black ashes.  Part lover-part
entering the mouth-sized sea locked

in its own sweet slime-salt and slum.

Part one slither sinking moon-like
from the later horizon and boundary
of the tangle.  Part opening

the reposing lid of the raucous sea
with both hands and stepping out whole

into light.

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