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To the Woman Who Sits on the Beach Every Day at Two and Drinks Beer

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The old woman’s hands
brown and spotted
like the sugared crackling on a ham
crackeling
cracking
split and peel off in little flakes
like roofing shingles sliding into the emptiness
a noise unto themselves
like the gentle shushing of the sky to the leaves

dried and dead in the curb corner
along with roadside-grilled worm carcasses.
The lowly, sun-worshipping creature
fried and flattened
neatly dried into a crisp, brittle coil
under my feet.

The old woman’s hands
(SPF protection-less)
bake Rotisserie-style
as the Ant-God
my Gaud;
the great gaping cake-hole of civilization,
smiles from above.

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