Poem 8

Analysis in 368
These people—shadows of reality
Chewed over, mulled over
Until the gum imagery
Begins to resemble our own

We are the black-white men and women:
Dried flowers between pages. Preserved
So that all these men and women may write
Irony in the margins. Circle the two dollar words.
I have opinions about this bit of conflict. I
Can contribute because I’ve made choices.
These people are not shadows of reality
They sit down to dinners; they raise voices
They fail. And we fail with them. All
Together like a family. All together sinking
Until the final letters and the hinged spine
Compress them to forgetfulness. All together…
Invested like our own brothers and sisters
Take unfairness across the cheek. I know you
So well, need you so much to define me:
Black-white archetypes chewed from
Reality. The gum of lifetimes becomes the peach-tone
Shadows of triumph and turning until we know them
Better than ourselves and we belong to the
Loose leaf love story of a protagonist lost.

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