Play

Elbow in elbow, treasure in deskwell,
object in perfect embrace of your subject,

Beloved. You fasten tumbled sheets, pell mell
with dailiness, ordering the old wrecked

destiny of hearts. The stubborn staple
bites with prongs; undressed corners join one fold

as if pretense alone can hold them stable. Your clasp stays firm, or slips off, as you’re told.

My paragon, remain. You may unbend
your shape, an L or V, to fish lost rings
from drains, pry out a crumb inbetween keys.
But stripes and gaudy colors make an end
of mere display–their hard enamel clings

like taint. Repeat pure elegance. Fix me.

Jean Kane teaches English at Vassar College. Her fiction and poetry have been published in American Short Fiction, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, and Indiana Review.

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