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Buried alive (once again)
By Chris Gage

I try my father’s shoes on
at the mirror in the front hall;

they were handed down from him
like a temperament or bad eyesight

or anything else we can’t explain
but look foolishly right into and,

like a Columbus sifting through
the pages of a photo album,

say, “That is not my uncle, that is
the first man to have ever called a wrong number”

and “How could that be me? I was born
from the pictures on a deck of cards.”

“I am believed to have discovered
the trajectory of tumbleweeds on my own,”

the last three words hanging sweet
in the thickened air.

I’ll wear these shoes through the day,
work the leather of the heel into a smile again

and when I walk, if I didn’t know better,
I’d swear I could hear underfoot the sound

and squeaking of yesterdays
turning over in their graves.

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Document last modified on: 01/23/2000

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