B i l l   R e c t o r
C l e o p a t r a 


I can see inside 
The pearl, too, 
Antony, clear through 
Its lustrous skin 
To the grain 
Of absence at the center 
And the world of abundance within. 
What pearl do I mean? 
What world? Poor spirit, 
You can never know. 
Ask the asp 
Coiled on my breast. Opacity 
Is my central character, 
The drop of mother’s milk that lasts. 

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