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They exist in every town of my body

Slouched in untidy corner pubs

Capping dead end streets which lead to the river –

Nursing flat beers and an ageless whiskey, or two, or three

Waiting to be called back to the Lord,

Our Savior. In the muscular toes

Of varsity divers, earnest and of age, perched on high

With little or nothing to lose,

Unconcerned with their daily

Feats of inertia or mass and the speed of light squared –

Shooting out and forward a massive body

Many times their size

Born ultimately to fall and stop

At gravity’s behest.

They’re there –

Just below the blanket of my body’s

Largest organ, impatiently waiting

For a nick, a gash or a wound

To issue forth, unruly

And ripe.

Before that, they hear others of their kind

Whiz past the surface of my mind’s skin

And can only bulge and pimple up

In bumps of sympathetic swell:

Seething, jealous and understanding.

When they are born

Some have an ant’s life of cause

Some the deceptive luster of dutied drones –

Workers for the hive’s queen

Or in benediction of Holy See.

Some are archangels

Others, solar flares

Singeing far-off places

Of astronomic space.

Many will feel worthless

And strain to go on.

Many will find a place,

A mate, a home.

                                                                        | Juan-Paolo Perre

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