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Larry Levis

 My poem would eat nothing.
I tried giving it water but it said no, worrying me.
Day after day, I held it up to the llight, turning it over, but it only pressed its lips more tightly together.
It grew sullen, like a toad through with being teased.
I offered it money, my clothes, my car with a full tank.
But the poem stared at the floor.
Finally I cupped it in my hands, and carried it gently out into the soft air, into the evening traffic, wondering how to end things between us.
For now it had begun breathing, putting on more and more hard rings of flesh.
And the poem demanded the food, it drank up all the water, beat me and took my money, tore the faded clothes off my back, said Shit, and walked slowly away, slicking its hair down.
Said it was going over to your place.

by Larry Levis
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