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TRUE TO LIFE ALSO / Mary Ruefle It's as though today were found at the bottom of Escambia Bay and an hour floated up in italics: you can tell by the faces of those you love tiny linguistic features are beginning to appear on your own. Yes, it's hot, almost evening, and the children go screaming over short green grass their heads fall apart like great white peonies in a way we are deciphering as it unloosens itself. And I have lain and almost waited, wished for a flood: the first star rising as a little bug on the whiskey glass while a wasp's nest rots in tomato light with its seeds in a casket of gel. The rasp of insects coming on and going off like an oven in which things grow tender. Like an oven in which I have lain, almost waited, wished for a flood, while the light filtered up from the sea like filings to a magnet, until salt-grains dried on the neck's edge. 30 · The Missouri Review THE LEAST SEQUENCE OF FLESH / Mary Ruefle Scum on the lake-rim, puffed fish beating their heads against the shore like beautiful albinos of love. Cell tissues in an out and out whitening that will drag on all day, blueflies mating over the slick rot. Clouds in their civilization go no further, dissolving in rains. Something lifeless provokes you to throw yourself away entirely. Think of the twin worlds into which you have never wholly fallen! You stammer and cling to the edge of a cup in the shape of the world. The light almost undresses you, eyes rinsing and rinsing a strange and accurate detail of what you think you see like algae on small breasts coming from water. The Missouri Review · 32 ...


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