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No one is satisfied. Everyone is confused. The elegant

   Japanese man smokes until his long hair

        resembles the gray around him. How

            the girl illuminates into Taylor Swift, a doused


humility in southern blonde. Some have tried

   to build the bridge from one side of town

       to the other, but the streets meet uneven at the river

            to arrest the future. When hands press


to hands with a paper between,

    it is a way to commit to the dance.

       The Japanese man dusks his cigarette

            at the side of the river. His hair,


the sun emergent, and fingers laced

    around cigarettes are obvious emblems

       of a night apart: when folded over themselves,

          this configuration becomes a crane.


The design takes talent, but in perfection

    these wings will arch and extend

        like the voice of Taylor Swift. Across the limelight

            from her angelic teenage figure,


a reflection hits the page of music

   and she picks it up. Some fall together while others

       come apart. All the construction workers

           of 1846 were born unfortunate, their fingers fated


to a life of groping at the edges of arms

   that didn’t match, shoulders given to skew.

       Draining the river was meant to make things better.

           The swallow is a species nearly kin


to the swift, not for biological

    reason but still aerial, the fastest fliers 

        in the animal kingdom. The fortunes of one body

            may touch the fortunes of another. Only convergent


evolution brings them together, as living

   in a shared space gives a feeling of similarity.

      At times the joints set in bridges

           do not match up, waiting for a contact


that disappoints. What frightening tendrils

   turn out of smoke and halfway across the dancing scene

       become the hair of a faceless southern blonde? Extension

           to the precipice, Taylor Swift said, then stop


like fingers on opposing sides

   of a sun-cut strip of origami may think

      they touch by mere hot pressure felt

          along the page. In frontier towns men danced


like this once, one playing at girl, hands splayed

   flat against each other without contact.

      The Japanese man watches smoke meet air

           then unfolds himself into the dark.



     Jay Deshpande

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