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a poem by
Luke Buckham
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"Do you ever miss your small, flexible body?"

Washing dishes somewhere in New York,
underneath a tower, a waitress with large sad eyes
lingers near my left arm.  She moves closer
as if to be held, and I want to do
whatever she wants me to do.  I look at her,
as she wants me to, and she asks,
with a small, cringing smile:

"Do you ever miss your small, flexible body,
  the one you had when you were a kid,
  that was easy to hurt but so hard to break?"

Most people don't ask you questions like that
in the city.  People forget to look
at the winking galaxies, and mostly eat plastic,
sleep wrapped in newspaper.
But she has a long yellow vegetable
held near her mouth, and her eyes twinkle with maps.
I answer, with a smile that leaps
outside my evening shift: "It aches, but
I can do more with this one."

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