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THE VIETNAM VETERAN . . . . .THE VIETNAM VETERAN, THE MINISKIRT, THE MANIAC,
THE ASBESTOS WEIGHT LIFTER
AND THE JEW
a friend who left most of himself in some other country
took me into a bar
introduced me to some legs and a memory
then bought me a beer
or was some of that other country brought here
the puerto rican pool player smoked pot as he shot
the weight lifter cowered beneath his clothes
(i did not see his muscles ripple as he coughed)
there were clouds and long legs in sneakers
the enemy was there - the enemy was not there
i shook his vice like a hand
and stared into his empty eyes unending
the deep scar on his left cheek seemed the nicest thing about him
(except maybe for his "suicidal tendencies" tatoo)
i breathed deeply the pungent air
coughed up asbestos, drank
Volpi.You will find that the story you tell
is very rarely your own. In Lucca,
even the smallest pebbles
breathe in the warm sunlight.
Knotted stones and cobbled roads
beat out a paper-dry heartbeat heat
my city breathes in and out,
inhales sparrow air.
It's writing a story.
You are the pen.
You will find that in Lucca
the daisy chains forge fire
in side streets and back alleys.
Teenagers intertwine. Tell me,
odd flower, are you still closed?
Here we are colored wax;
the heat of the city melts us.
We run into each other, rhapsody
of pigments. Operas are our specialties.
Open up; feel the reds.
If not, try and see them. There is a place
of deep knife marks, a street
long as midnight
you may learn something there.
Valentina's voice glimmers like red wine.
You may enjoy intoxications. Still,
know alcohol has no story
and will swallow your own.
Find the sign with the wolf on it.
You'll know the place. Epiphanies ring true as church-bells.
Lucca still guides the wanderers
to well sp
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