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Levee, 1955


Pin it down, panel atop panel with
care, stained persimmon fabric, sheer linen,
a square green bandage, paisley knee-patch, tie-
length bridge. Every clean dressing pulled tight as
a pink camisole, wet blindfold, lips of
a princess sealed against “spontaneous
overflow.” This hand-made shore is only
as strong as its weakest point, bound nipple,
blue match, restrained lyric, waxing crescent.
Where the bank has been breached a black stream,
thin gash, muffled cry, open score, courses
through. Before a tidal surge crests again,
wrap the tourniquet, mend the embankment,
flatten the tongue with strips of silken gauze.

Posted 09/22/09
After the work "Levee, 1955" from Robert Rauschenberg's "Combines" series.
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