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Poems by Tomaž Šalamun
Young Cops
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We Build a Barn And Read Reader's Digest

by Tomaž Šalamun

Quick ostrich. Quick ostrich. Quick sand. Quick sand.
Quick lime. Quick grass. The white juice from celeste Aida,
and forgot-to-take-it dries up. The one

trampled by sheep (down below), Grischa and Beatrice
(up above) converse. They'd recognize each other in
a cover, a box, a jacket, a picture, in moss and trampled

dirt. At this angle of the sky
no pictures are allowed. Corpses are wrapped up like
sheaves. Dismiss the footprint. Wipe your eyes.

Stop pilfering. Grapshot gets tangled up.
I go paying visits with my lives.
Here I just romped and touched the rug

with a yellow shoulder. I don't know what a word is.
To cry out moth! when on your white towel you see 
a scorpion? El Alamein! Where is the difference?

Rommel was kissing heaven's dainty hands, and yet
from his airplane above the Sahara, my uncle
Rafko Perhauc still blew him to bits.

"We Build a Barn And Read Reader's Digest" from The Blue Tower by Tomaž Šalamun. Copyright © 2011 by Tomaž Šalamun. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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