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--- R O B E R T   K L E I N   E N G L E R

Autumn clouds pile up purple in the northern sky.
The concert begins: from strings to wood to stones,
somewhere in the middle our bodies hope to be held.

The violins play. A hand waves in the air like a wing. This is the time we keep, some early, others late. Sitting still, each one wears a cloud of silence. Our flesh is so particular. Am I the only one with this hunger? Note after note, less and less, the mosaic of bones drifts into a cloud of sleep.

Last night Michael danced on a table of light. The men told him with their eyes, "Hold me, please." Gods move this way and wear nakedness like a cloud. My father left during the music, and never came back. After that, we placed a stone on the mouth of the earth. Some say bones are made of clouds, others say stones.

Mice are the most numerous mammals in the world. They are known to be silent when music plays. The body of a mouse weighs as much as a cloud.

How long can Michael dance and make his skin public property? Generations have held on to some songs, only to release them for applause.

The record for the number of field mice killed in a single day by one application of poison is 28,000. It is held by a farmer in Australia.

Mother saved the pot roast bone just for me. She spread the salted marrow on a slice of bread, then watched as I ate it, glad the secret lives on. I see the bald-headed man wants Michael, too. He pays a dollar as well to feel the smooth slide of Michael's thigh, the electric paper of his skin.

Words reside in memory like clouds or stones. "I know you love me, so, I will never see you again." These were his words, his and his alone.

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