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The Alligator Bride

 The clock of my days winds down.
The cat eats sparrows outside my window.
Once, she brought me a small rabbit which we devoured together, under the Empire Table while the men shrieked repossessing the gold umbrella.
Now the beard on my clock turns white.
My cat stares into dark corners missing her gold umbrella.
She is in love with the Alligator Bride.
Ah, the tiny fine white teeth! The Bride, propped on her tail in white lace stares from the holes of her eyes.
Her stuck-open mouth laughs at minister and people.
On bare new wood fourteen tomatoes, a dozen ears of corn, six bottles of white wine, a melon, a cat, broccoli and the Alligator Bride.
The color of bubble gum, the consistency of petroleum jelly, wickedness oozes from the palm of my left hand.
My cat licks it.
I watch the Alligator Bride.
Big houses like shabby boulders hold themselves tight in gelatin.
I am unable to daydream.
The sky is a gun aimed at me.
I pull the trigger.
The skull of my promises leans in a black closet, gapes with its good mouth for a teat to suck.
A bird flies back and forth in my house that is covered by gelatin and the cat leaps at it missing.
Under the Empire Table the Alligator Bride lies in her bridal shroud.
My left hand leaks on the Chinese carpet.

by Donald Hall
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