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Why Do You Lurk? by Pattiann Rogers
published in Volume 3, Issue 3 on July 8th, 1996

Why do you crouch like that, seeming
once, and then not, to be black-striped murk
and mud in the rush of marsh reed masses?
Why do you shadow there in the skeering
clicks of the creek crickets, in the tick
of minnow mouths nipping the skin of the pond?

Why lurk so, skulking in grassy wind-purples
of rain and storm, in the gull-wing waver
quaking above the capping surf?

Why not out, little buddy
rose?  Why not spread, every naked
button bared?

Why prowl in the rattle of the alley
cans beyond the eye-circle
of the street lamp?  Why not, on the fencetop,
prance and hump, tiger cat?  Yowl, spit
in plain moonview from the roof's peak.

For how, in your unfound absence, can I know
other than the bald, boneless, toothless,
heartless negative of my own imaginary

Why, even before the void, should you
have costumed as void?

Don't snow-hide outside in the crooked
white shadows of the midnight oak.
Why not come?  Why not forth?  Or why not,
dear nothing but the nothing to which I speak,
be boldly here as the dearth and madness
of my entreaties?

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