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"her face soft as fingers creeping on wood" & "celestial syncopation" by Livio Farallo

her face soft as fingers creeping on wood

there is the look of something

you never know

in the clean flow

of saliva where telemarketers trip

on my name like a banana peel

and i’m

sick at

brown midnight from mutations squeaking like piranhas,

but still i answer the phone.

and then my feet swivel and

splash in the blue dirty


streams, and from

interruptions in the crisp



the sun religions spill

down slopes

like newly hatched weather.

but, for

clarity, i don’t need full comparisons of

brain and spirit;

brute and saint;

abbreviations will do.

and war carries on.

and though i have an october face,

uncarved and

unpainted, you will

know me

by my tilt

in the field.

you will know me as

the first lick of alzheimer’s

nudges you like a

circling fly.

and then on sundays,

when so many gods are

sleeping, she pulls three

children along a dusty road

with tears falling to match

the setting sun and says

she has beautiful butterflies

for sale.

and i remember one

more time, the cops

saying it simply got out of hand;

it had nothing to

do with who they were



they weren’t. and then there’s the peace and omnipotence

of the dentist manipulating

the only

orifice that can kill us all.

and i still answer the phone.

celestial syncopation

a beveled head,

clam-shaped and archaic;

sungassed and melodramatic

is the conscience of a primitive frown.

and i’m bent on feeding the squalor puffed in

shallow streams

where dna was once a


that lacked the gravity to spin a simple song.

one planet is never enough for

fingering calculus


stripping varnish

from a mass grave. i’ll

bring coffee

and sea urchins unable to swim. i’ll


to tell the calendar of simple ores not

found in dirt.

and i’ll slip on a slurry of

shoreline nodding

at the ocean to stay away.

Livio Farallo is co-editor of Slipstream and Professor of Biology at Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, New York. His stuff has appeared or, is forthcoming, in The Cordite Review, Triggerfish, North Dakota Quarterly, Straylight, Beatnik Cowboy, Panoplyzine, J Journal, and elsewhere. His collection "Dead Calls and Walk-Ins" follows his job as a taxi driver some centuries ago.

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