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Poetry By
  Michael Collings

Published on: 7/28/2005
For Grace Isabella

        The Crown Without the Conflict
        14 May 2003

I saw you once...and last,
As I wrapped you in white
And lay you beside your toys...
Teddy Bear, Bunny, Locket,
Recording of your father's
Voice that you had never heard.

I saw you then...counted
Toes and fingers, saw the tip
Of a tiny nose, as much
Intuited as saw eyelids in
Sleep. Not much more...
The hygromas (ugly word,
Uglier in life than in the
Read) and the hydrops
Blanketed all else in their
Insatiable greed to
Absorb fluids, tissues.

Still, I saw the arc
Of nose, the slit of
Eyelids, the curve of
Spine against the sheet
The hospital had wrapped
You in. And it sufficed.

You remain part of my son
And of his love
And of his parents
And of hers throughout
Long links and chains
Of genes and cells
And Spirit throughout

Published on: 3/7/2005

Birds have plucked ripe pomegranates

split/pricked ruby-leather

pried ruby-blooded seeds

from flesh-tint membranous

and swallowed-cocked heads back,

quivering ... and pomegranates

empty Death-Star hulls-from upper

Published on: 12/16/2004

Twice this morning 'possums
straddled double yellow lines.
Conical masks pointed asphaltward
where twining pavement sliced
thick chapparal.

Twice crushed hindquarters
signaled death -- naked banded
tailed curled blood and guts and gore
straddled double yellow lines.

Twice blood-slick-red cars
urged forward, pressed, pushed
straddled double yellow lines
swerved and rocked on tires
overblown black and richly stained.

Published on: 10/5/2004
The House We Owned

in the first house we owned we
painted plastered nakedness
rainbowed semigloss

shadeless bulbs cast black pterosaurs
out of heaven
onto semigloss plastered nakedness

night smelled odd
parents' murmurs in distant
rooms wrapped
stiff scent of paint
in familiarity

in bedrooms we would own we
rolled pillows next to naked
walls huddled in blankets on naked
floors and in Montana

auroras spackled stilldamp paint
through panes innocent of drapes
to the night
naked to murmurs and strange smells
filtered through
the first house we owned.

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