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The Cruel Wheel Turns Twice

And tightens until language can't bear this
Hollowing, crash cart, Please. In the silence,
A bus slithers by.

A din. The aluminium morning takes on more tension
And becomes a metal rod
Straight from a tunnel, dropped in a gate groove.

Disappointment. And again The End gate
Opens and it's, Please
Come back. Please be. Then nothing. Only end-

Less night taking off from the smooth tarmac slate.
The potpie clock, its stock of twelve numbers
A stew for the weak and the weary.

The small war of the heart made bigger
by far in the world.
And daylight a gift.

Small cog after cog slips into the hour
And razor-thin minute slot without stop.
And daylight a gift tied with some tinsel.

Mary Jo Bang
The Paris Review
Number 175
Fall/Winter 2005

Copyright © 2005 by the Paris Review.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.

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