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Dante’s Tomb

A tired banana & an empty mind
at 7 A.M. My world offends my eyes
bleary as an envelope cried-over
after the letter’s lost.

In spite of it all, both it & me,
I’ll chip away at the mystery.
There’s a Toltec warrior in Minneapolis
with narrow eyes, reclining.

The head raised & facing you;
larger than life-size, in tan granite.
The cult perished.
The empty city welcomed the monkeys.

We don’t know. Hundreds & hundreds of little poems
rolled up & tied with ribbons
over the virgin years, ‘unwanted love.’
And Miss Bishop’s friend has died,

and I will die and one day in Ravenna
I visited his tomb. A domed affair,
forbidding & tight shut.
‘Dantis Poetae Sepulchrum.’

She said to me, half-strangled, ‘Do that again.
And then do the other thing.’
Sunlight flooded the old room
and I was both sleepy & hungry.

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