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Phallic and Fallopia: Alveolar Assimilation

2010 June 13
by J. Scott Mosel

They are left with one last image:

oscillating bars of steel and concrete.

Each back is purple from beatings,

untouchable flesh.

They begin the whistles and clicks

of the insane–without tongues,

there remains a bird-like alveolar pop

in their mouths, the sound

like a playing card  tapping the spokes

of a bike wheel. They press fingers

to each throat, feeling for a buzz,

much as honeybees circle augurs

in the warehouses of the damned.

Most are sent for assimilation:

they learn to write long poems

on what they think about while mating.

The keepers know when they are in heat:

they purr in soft z, the skin shimmers

hieroglyphically, their tails point

toward the smoke trails of Icarus.

One of them, a young one,

continues to have memories

of the time before the great passage:

a ballerina on a thin cobweb spun by god.

She remembers the gardens

behind the eyes of each soul:

she is sent away for genital mutilation.

Soon, she will reappear at Wal-Mart

to dust fake plants with a small broom

made in China.

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