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NEW COP/Brendan Galvin He is waxed and poUshed, as streamlined from crewcut to steel toes as this new cruiser my taxes bought him. If he's Before, then Tm After, creased and spindled in aU the wrong places, what he could become, though I doubt he can imagine letting his shirttail hang out Uke this to indicate it's one of his better days, or growing a white beard until it turns flyaway and his wife-cut hair freaks whitely from an Orioles cap as if at the first tingle from Old Sparky. Should I excuse myself by teUing him how I have to exercise this left hip joint, or say I've been jogging and walking this road right here for a third of a century, so have a claim on it? Who is this kid, anyway? Nobody I've ever seen in this town of 1,500. It's suddenly damp and foggy, and Tm feeling muskrat shaggy and a Uttle bagged off, Uke I just crawled out of that marsh down there. Are you a Baltimore fan? he asks. No, I'm an oriole fan, I say, the wrong answer because I can see it's scrambling his gestalt. The Missouri Review · 181 Not a good day for a walk, he says, watching the eyes behind my bifocals for the Vacancy sign, waiting for me to ask when the pope's going to get here with my tuna sandwich. 182 · The Missouri Review Brendan Galvin RIFFING DECIDUOUS/Brendan Galvin Summer, old bore, though we love the ways you reduce everything to five shades of green, one of these days in a faU of soft tonnage, your stranglehold on the obvious must end. We need those deciduous farewells that reveal from cranberry bog to hogback, from sea grass to sky at dusk, not red but its modulations: soUerino, murrey, minium, not yellow but vitelline and those others nameless as the obscurer insects. On one of those clarified mornings, in a nest Uke a straw handbag hung to the weather, in a fright wig out on a limb, in cones of grass and false beards precariously woven, the instinctive faith of birds wUl appear to a walker's eye. As if to prove aU things must have their time, the textures of fox sparrows wiU be no longer subtle, but flashy and necessary, until we can trust that if we pay attention we'U hear the groaning into being of things beUeved in though unseen—a gasp as chives gain the air, and even before equinox the sound of a rubbed baUoon as wings chafe cold from the winter-brittle blue. The Missouri Review · 183 MYSTERY SQUID/Brendan Galvin They say it Uves mUes down in that wet obsidian we crawled from, below Martini's Law, down where things, if they can, create their own Ught. AU we know of its country is an accurate reading of our own ignorance, but in photographs that thing looks Uke a blown-back umbreUa, handle and spokes, fabric gone, until we recaU it's twenty feet long, the size of a tree uprooted and drifting sidewise where pressure of depth has exacted stringency, and its arms Uke ten sticky branches trap prizes yet to be named, blinks and inklings, articulated wisps, eclectic pulsings, a magpie hoard where no magpie can Uve, rhythms fleshed out, tidbits on which this Uving Giacometti thrives. Where it moves with random taUlights toward memory's submarine canyons, our loneliness is as much without meaning 184 · The Missouri Review as sUence, our disbeUef is only the self-saving doubt of a fieldhand witnessing a space shot: "That thing ain't going to no moon." Brendan Galvin The Missouri Review «185 A BUCK'S PRINTS IN WINTER/ Brendan Galvin Three weeks after deer season, and except for an orange flare-up in the wood stove's window, the hoard of protective coloring is gone, even that hunter's gone who waited with Death's patience in leaf faU and shadow of Gore-Tex on Bald HUl over there, arrow notched, his miracle fiber bow engineered to drive a steel tip through cement. Another human season survived, and this...


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