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He came in winter, buzzing by the stove.

She fed him crumbs and butter. She was very

lonely. She liked his talk of summer,

grew perceptive as a fly. But in June,

when she still saw nothing, she squeezed her fist

and heard him scream. “I am the universal

suffering man, a sacrifice in

an empty room, reduced to a shadow

on a public wall, tearing my way

to the top in the bathhouse.” She called him

Gabriel. The night she was born bombs blitzed seeds

in her brain,  a wild garden that flowered

in summers of violence.

© Copyright David Selzer

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