If you look under G in the card catalog,
a hunched-over landlady will rent you
a space made of dust, albeit, a little domain
of quiet— Where the rent is cheap and so
is the debt, and silence is not morbid.
On these premises, text and rhetoric
mix a sexy playground for words.
Exquisite human machine of pathos
and debris, allowed the pages to be set
on letter-press, then ink bled and seeped
into a refinery of senses. The kids practice
spelling in the back stacks. We are all polar-opposites
on a stage of belief, fact and faith. Yes, Borges
digressed for an atheist and an Aleph. Delinquent,
these prophets and scholars broke the dress-code
in favor of out-of-fashion souls. Under the desk,
two students knock knees to make contact. Egg to sperm,
pen to pulp—Ideas fly to where our better
angels reside—Where chairs are stacked
on tables at the end of the day.

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CYNTHIA ATKINS is the author of Psyche’s Weathers and In The Event of Full Disclosure, and the forthcoming collection Still-Life With God. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including, Alaska Quarterly Review, Apogee, BOMB, Cleaver Magazine, Cultural Weekly, Denver Quarterly, Diode, Florida Review, Flock Lit, Green Mountains Review, Le Zaporogue, Los Angeles Review, North American Review, Rust + Moth, Sweet: A Literary Confection, SWWIM, Tampa Review, and Verse Daily, and nominated for Pushcart and Best of The Net. Formerly, Atkins worked as the assistant director of the Poetry Society of America. She has received fellowships from Bread Loaf and the VCCA, Atkins teaches creative writing at Blue Ridge Community College and lives on the Maury River of Rockbridge County VA with her family. More info at www.cynthiaatkins.com, https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia-Atkins-190490067665164/ and @catkinspoet.

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