Rachel Springer Dunbar

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from THE WORD FOR HONEY WAS HOME

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Desert,

I believed we’d met. I believed your balcony facing the sun. Your past was an amalgam of fantasy and stereotype. Your young girl was serious. Your criminal was serious. You once shot a deer because you had to, having glimpsed a lover’s enormous corpse from an implausible distance. You made up a wolf according to its deeds. I believed in your wilderness. I believed in the manta ray of your room. Because of you I saved hundreds, maybe thousands of baby spiders. I adopted your Aeolian perspective on streets, your sand duned perspective on supermarkets. At twilight your moon was strung all over town, your crown of volcanoes plotted on the horizon. I knew your life better than any biographer because I’d imagined it. Your greenhouse was serious. Even your helicopter was serious.

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Desert,

This morning morning’s glitch is a glitch / is not a glitch / is what I guessed, fire at the source, bathtub running over—before a face, research “country”: define “country” before transitioning into play, before a face suddenly numinous is a glitch / is not a glitch across the shelf, superior at attracting the people happy-ready-yes likes—this photo of happy-ready-yes is the ultimate face, it would be life, chaser than paper, he said, or was it paper, then chaser? It was surprisingly easy, the details of the glitch straight up in the martini glass as a glitch or as is I want to kiss you in the glitch—

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Desert,

I’ve read your book, and it’s a good book. I agree, the endpaper’s too bright, like hearing someone start the same conversation in the same way before realizing that, sadly, it’s me, talking about spiders again. Once you start with spiders you don’t have time for much else, you know the drill, I’ve read your book, two thirds of its body out of water, and strangely enough, I want to know more, though I’ve been told not to reach for sticks in rivers. Why do I want to know more? Don’t know. I know you had a wife named “Lady” and the air was thick with her, like floating in a salt lake. The radio’s playing over breakfast, the same conversation, have you noticed? She’s light herself, like plastic, and there are so many of her, shiny heads, drifting threads. There’s asking for your love. There’s solitude. The world is loaded with it.

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