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K e l l y   F o r d o n


Man in the Coffee Shop

Everything is tight. 

The arms sinewy. 

The face impassive. 

The same flatness 

of affect as the faces 

chiseled out of the rock 

in South Dakota. 

The lashes blunt 

as if someone took 

a hatchet to them. 

I have seen a man 

on a chariot with 

ringlets like these, 

with his arms crossed, 

with face set. 

The ring in his nose 

is flush to the skin 

the nostril is flared, 

the mouth is small 

like a snail under a rock, 

like labia beneath 

the thatch, ears so 


each word 

has to fight 

its way inside. 

The beard is 


The skin is 


The eyes remain 

averted, only the 

smallest hint of a 

blush rising up 

like sunrise behind a 

mountain, like a 

warrior’s neck 



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