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Life is a burden. The hand unable to sleep
fitfully writes There is a man outside your door
in my bedside journal. When I hide pen and paper
my stomach is scratched into language.

I wake to a gut of flies. I check the TV
for worms. The less perfected times
believed technology an outlet for the spirit.
We know now there is no spirit, just this wealth

of circuits. Sickness walks a dog
and waves when I avoid his eyes.
I tried to make him a metaphor, but he’s a small god
with AIDS. He’s a thin man whose body

each day looks more and more machine.
Radio sucks voices from the air. TV images feed me
a steady diet of light. Why not something else smacking
its lips on his flesh so that the doctor laying ear

to his chest will not hear the body’s hourglass,
but the warm, inexhaustible clicks and whirrs
that underlie existence, and if deciphered
would answer every question, There is still time?

Andrew Kozma received his MFA from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. His poems have appeared in AGNI Online, Zoland Poetry, Smartish Pace, and Subtropics, and his non-fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review. His first book of poems, City of Regret (2007), won the Zone 3 First Book Award.

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