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I can’t get out of my mind
the image of the cat
harpsichord from the 18th century‚
soothing a prince with laughter.
It worked like this: the tails of them attached
to the strings of the instrument
were pulled by different notes‚ and the difference
between the way the cats
cried was music.
A shadow is only a shape.
Which is why certain individuals
can put their hands in light
and make them birds‚ can say in shadow
what they can’t in light.
The tiny branches of the hedge
in the side yard that separates
my house from the next
look like the rib bones of a bird
when the sun hits lunch.
The world‚ they say‚ is best for a nest
but no good for a flying place.
Come back‚ I say to my dead‚
and the branches don’t even graze
the window‚ when I eat it hurts.
This poem is part of BR’s special package celebrating National Poetry Month.
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Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.