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Lauren Hilger

                        the unfamiliar cast of mind
becomes pine, 
                        moonshine, and the high alcohol 
                        of my blood.
Who would be there—
of the opera, seeing 
                        and being seen,
                        is a feeling extinct 
except in some sectors,
                        like, here—
a barefoot youth,
                        steps into what would be my kitchen.
She manages hot toddies on a stove 
                        I once leaned against 
and drunk said
                        who knows what, 
                        not yet climatized to critique, 
not yet the smaller, sooner reward.
                        I desired to desire to hold 
myself upright, to shout through
                        Mayakovsky’s megaphone
                        of my youth.
I’d learn to behave 
                        and change my head. 
We met as tourists. 
                        Each edge was not a joke,
                        like they are now.
My psychosocial swain.
                        My bawdy love with your pearl
handled pistol patrolling the hall.
                        You left for town
                        and left and
never came back.
                        It isn't the lack, (remind us) 
not the ship or the rival ship,
                        the possible 
expanding, but all apodicticity
                        that can’t be heard. So what    
never had to
end can end.