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Sport 36: Winter 2008

Six measures of allegiance

page 232

Six measures of allegiance

10: on a scale of 1 to 10.
Here there is no room for the alternative narrative.
The burnt bridge, the facings-off, are rated 'worth it'.

Knowing things will happen for a long time after,
the sculptor, white with intent, chisels your credulous eye.

On a percentage scale: 85.5.
Occasionally you lose yourself. Someone finds you.
Hauls you back onto the frieze.

On the Richter scale: a magnitude of 7.
With this score you're not thinking of the way things fall—
that woman, her sable dress collapsing into her skeleton,

dust on the reaches of her breath. Nor does it occur to you
to go around with gifts. There is nothing soft about your handling.

1: on a scale of 1 to 10.
You believe you are alive in the everywhen.
Your lovers loved by everybody. All the time.

You do not multiply, your one-ness free
of every single tethering thing.
page 233 Fifty/fifty.
In this principality
you promise to love her children as your own.

Gates, a whole series of them, opening out.
But if you go through, you cannot enter.

In this principality, when wearing a hood,
make sure some hair is showing.

On the Beaufort Scale: Force 6.
Your song, its beautiful strength,
scrolls her on through the blue-goose air.

You are thin-lipped. Brocaded women
love you.