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93 Tall Man Flies Gangly man, skin like red dirt, you have let rip, a streak of living across these here United States. Philadelphia, Detroit, NewYork, like a curse, Missouri,Washington. When they saw you coming, they cleared the jails. Traveling man, it took nothing for you to pick up and follow the boy, King, into batterings by sticks, washings by spit, beds of concrete, crying “Freedom! Freedom!” ’Cause that nothing town called curfew before the sun was quite tired of it all and they would lock you up. Keep moving, nothing would slow you down until, bone-weary some flame of Pentecost caught you and singed what little 94 hair was left and gave you a voice to preach in iambics like in the old days. You’ve got more years to go, though the way words are found has clouded some in your head, the way thoughts make memory. But all those years of letting rip gave you psalms of penitence, each day offered, a sin forgiven a new song made, eyes clearing. I can tell you’ve been talking to the dead, the way you are startled to find me before you, the way you expect me to know the street you live on, and every dream in your head that you have not spoken to me, but have said to those you talk to at night. I follow you to the Atlantic’s edge, then I let you go on ahead; staring at your gangly flight, old arms pointing homewards. This page intentionally left blank. ...

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