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 Maxine, back from a weekend with her boyfriend,
smiles like a big cat and says
that she's a conjugated verb.
She's been doing the direct object with a second person pronoun named Phil, and when she walks into the room, everybody turns: some kind of light is coming from her head.
Even the geraniums look curious, and the bees, if they were here, would buzz suspiciously around her hair, looking for the door in her corona.
We're all attracted to the perfume of fermenting joy, we've all tried to start a fire, and one day maybe it will blaze up on its own.
In the meantime, she is the one today among us most able to bear the idea of her own beauty, and when we see it, what we do is natural: we take our burned hands out of our pockets, and clap.

Poem by Tony Hoagland
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