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Poetry | Canals

and the salons remain open                                     and your mother receives

her prescription

                                           through an open car window

and back doors

                                                                                   open onto yards

and low bone                                         sky            and

casuals                                                                      watch months open

full-timers open redundancies

portfolios                          find openings in steel

             and your mother lays her head

in a basin of warm water                                 in disbelief

                                                                         the flow doesn’t open across her face

and open                                                          praise for the next face

             and salt opens eggplant

hydrants                      and back doors

                                                                         open onto yards with corellas

low      bone figs                                               and your father

fills prescriptions

teaches parents to open                     tablets to powder apple juice

                              and your father’s mother

tongue sings open balcony doors                     floods canals

and the hair of the dead                                   keeps growing

the nails                                                            and the salons of the living

keep open the living

 

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Anders Villani holds an MFA from the University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writers' Program, where he received the Delbanco Prize for poetry. His first book, Aril Wire, was released in 2018 by Five Islands Press. He lives in Melbourne. www.andersvillani.com

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