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Porta Portese

—if it once gleamed, if it ticked, if it buzzed, if it
oiled eternal youth, if it whispered
on an old tape with the sexual lure of infinite
cash, if it said I am your private
castle and you are a queen, if it lit a thousand
bulbs, if it shaved a thousand hairs, if
it declared God loves you, if it promised
to cure harelip eczema scabies rage,
if it clipped hangnails, if it delivered proverbs, if it hugged
the ass—it’s laid out on a collapsible
table or a mat on asphalt, money will change
hands, money will change us
all, change Gypsies professors Nigerian whores
limping children drugged babies
iPodded teens Somali refugees artists in
drag illegal Albanians cruising pols We said
one world We said isn’t my money good enough
for you Switch blade Switch banks The Cloaca
Maxima accepts all currencies The Tiber
leaks yellow between its legs venereal
venerable duty-free luxurious silken rippling
classical waves sold and soldered solved reflected here—

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