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Postmodern Village
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Punctuation Goddesses Ride Elephants Made of Commas
by Hezekiah Allen Taylor

for the Englishman

I thought of you last week.
I admit, I don’t think of you as much.
I’m trying to make you less important punctuation
in my life’s rambling paragraphs—
less of a regular, steady, heavily-used comma,
more of a rare exclamation mark.

I wish you could be a comma, but it’s just not meant to be.

Anyway, last week, I turned a corner in my thoughts,
and you were there.
I shouldn’t have been all that surprised.
You’re always there, lying low.
Underneath.
A part of the whole, now.
A part of me.

You looked good.
You smelled good.
And, I told you I missed you.

I do miss you.

It’s nice to run into you, into him . . .
into the him/you . . .
in the nooks
in the crannies
in the alcoves
in the intersections
of my gray matter.

That you was very friendly
and flirty
and charming.
It was very nice to see him again.
It makes me smile, finding him,
losing him,
knowing, when I turn a corner
in my thoughts
in the future sometime
I will find him---and you---
once again and, again,
that moment, marked with proper punctuation,
will make me smile.

Hmmm. Perhaps I should have ended
that stanza with an exclamation mark.

I know so many punctuation goddesses,
but I am not one.

They ride beautiful, curved gray elephants
made of heavily-used commas that carry them
through complicated paragraphs.

But, for you, my little mark,
I will pass on the exotic elephants with their
rounded inky forms and wait
on point, steady,
walking, turning, ready
for that rare moment
of true exclamation

when I run into you again.

Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version
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