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Arthur Seefahrt

Alchemy, ii



When I thought I was a stone again


you moved my hands to frame stars


and after careful leafy scrutiny


we found only an asteroid 


in my eighth and roofless house


and though you are a fine instructor


I still know nothing of death






You tell me         on the bridge


in the lesser hall of the forest


that it is your house


and to determine my path        out of the ninth house 


there is a ritual            you say


tear pages from your favorite novel


and drop them to the water


stop on page 13 or 77


and chart their constellation along the bank


I say          my books are too important


and take off your clothes






At the top of the steps


outside the tenth house


I realize           gazing in the first floor window


that this is a repurposed library


and that I have been puppeting this ritual


every day for over a decade


There are rooftiles scattered around


the gardens outside the tenth house


I slip a red piece into my pocket


It is hard like cold wax


it is the color behind your lips


when you scattered my bones about your nest






I need to go to the eleventh house


Want to come with


It bobs off the end of the peer


chained to the pilings of 


our collective islands


There are nine of them


each one has a woman’s name


anchored like star clusters 


in the greenness of nightsea


Sofas made of cage raised fish bones


lamps guaranteed to fail


a flaming sword guards the exit


so you can never leave without buying in






They swear us both in at the twelfth house


and even do the blood test


it doesn’t matter though          America is so big


that I will never not find you


The twelfth house climbs


from the white salt of the airport


My stolen moodring turns orange


will you embrace me yet?


The twelfth house I built 


as tower with words there


only to realize                it is a wall


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