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--- J A N E T   B U C K

You had your seatbelt on for death -- but this was obsidian night and I was virtually blind. I wasn't about to drive you there. Those last two days, where flesh was fish about to turn -- and the river of time ran slowly like wax when the candle just knows a wick is facing the horrible pinch. Your breasts, their alabaster twins in speckled hills, settled some above the jails of your ribs. A crusty negligee of gauze grazing the clottable vein. A morphine drip for summer showers in August heat so stifling it could be ovens locked on clean. Minutes fell in tacky wigs -- exposing the bald, bald dome. A spider trace of gray-white hair locked itself around my hand like fingers of a hungry child. A book lay on my useless lap -- a rag that smelled of turpentine to hurry the colorless dawn. Prayers were there, but peeling things -- lousy maids who smoked cigars, who didn't scrub between the cracks. Your skin had that tortilla texture -- knowledge of the crumbling. I stared at the mirror -- afraid of the chilling soup -- my reticent eyes locked on glass, on portals of the sluggish fly.

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