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Blue shades, and shades of white.
The chatter of ice. The diamonds
which purr.

He lays her down. The
white grass, hard dew.

Persephone shivers. Nude
motes in the icelight, he
spreads apart garments,

her shaking hologram
silvery within his glassy chest.
The frostly breasts, white-
dusted; the nipples taut blue.

When winter comes, when
his icicle deeps inside her,
snowflakes like eggs
are born everywhere.

Copyright �1996 by Jody Azzouni. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in Blue Unicorn, Vol. XIX, No. 2

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Medusa Variations

Hair is dead �
but we worship it anyway.
You wear it high,
the secretive brain
reduced to the stuffing in a throne.
You turn everyone�s head
one last time.

No snake dangles from the camera
as it hangs off my neck like a pet,
but it flattens beauty on paper
the way no monster ever could.
Quick as flashes, photons
collide against the camera�s retina,
die like butterflies �
their blood staining their final resting places.

In the museum
everything is laid out neatly.
The jealously guarded boxes of color
are as orderly as tiles.
Once I watched the stigmata of rainbow
spread across the sky like the slap of a god�s hand.
But here splayed light
plays quietly against the tattooed wall.

Dead on arrival,
the leaves gather in my backyard like art.
As usual, I touch nothing.

Copyright �1997 by Jody Azzouni. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in Salonika, Volume 1, No. 8.

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Starlight Starbright

Nightfall, a friendly ash, sticks to everything:
Makes me think of heaven. The dumb stars
too are hopeless. Only Greeks, flimsy
with evidence, connected the dots; sketched
imaginary companions like children.
Nowadays mad gravity dominates even the
scattered heavens; the black hole, where
space-time sleeps crunched like a button,
embraces light: an eye gone stomach.

Do I have to say it? Some people like
this sort of thing. But they too die,
and find themselves nowhere.

Copyright �1998 by Jody Azzouni. All rights reserved.
Originally published in Art Word Quarterly, Summer, No. 13.

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Wings Come In Pairs

Snow whispers promises
as it melts. A mouth, too,
breeds its own kind of ghost:
the red stain on the cheek, the noise
of lips on the move, the short-lived
kiss, its tiny belly swollen with tongue.

I no longer remember
what I told you about your eyes,
love, butterflies, autumn leaves. But now
butterflies look like wings in a rush �
the spinal cord still dangling
between them. I rake up
the dead, pick through the remains,
take home whatever gold I can find.

Copyright �1990 by Jody Azzouni. All rights reserved.
Originally appeared in The Hollins Critic, Vol. XXVII, No.3

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