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Marvin Bell
Two Pictures Of A Leaf
If I make up this leaf
in the shape of a fan, the day's cooler
and drier than any tree. But if
under a tree I place before me
the same leaf as on a plate,
dorsal side up and then its ribs
set down like the ribs of a fish--
then I know that fish are dead to us
from the trees, and the leaf
sprawls in the net of fall to be
boned and eaten while the wind gasps.
Ah then, the grounds are a formal ruin
whereon the lucky who lived
come to resemble so much that does not.

It could be a clip, it could be a comb;
it could be your mother, coming home.
It could be a rooster; perhaps it's a comb;
it could b your father, coming home.
It could be a paper; it could be a pin.,
It could by your childhood, sinking in.
The toys give off the nervousness of age.
It's useless pretending they aren't finished:
faces faded, unable to stand,
buttons lost down the drain during baths.
Those were the days we loved down there,
the soap disappearing as the water spoke,
saying, it could be a wheel, maybe a pipe;
it could be your father, taking his nap.
Legs propped straight, the head tilted back;
the end was near when he could keep track.
It could be the first one; it could be the second;
the father of a friend just sickened and sickened.

Origins of Dreams
Out from muted bee-sounds and musketry
(the hard works of our ears, dissembling),
under steeply-held birds (in that air
the mind draws of our laid breathing),
out from light dust and the retinal gray,
your face as in your forties appears
as if to be pictured, and will not go away.
I have shut up all m cameras, really,
Father, and thought I did not speak to you,
since you are dead. But you last;
are proved in the distance of a wrist.
Your face in dreams sends a crinkly static
and seems, in its mica- or leaf-like texture,
the nightworks of the viscera.
But feeling's not fancy, fancying you.
I don't forget you, or give stinks for the thanks.
I think I think the bed's a balcony,
until we sleep. Then our good intentions
lower us to the dead, where we live.
I think that light's a sheet for the days,
which we lose. Then we go looking.