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Count to Ten
Count to ten.
Tell me about the beautiful things you see,
one after another,
and the wretched things too,
filled with so much raw potential
and ancient love.
Tell me about the one girl with braids roped down her back,
and about the one broken parking lot,
decaying now, but soon flowering
with sunflowers and green kisses.
Quote the two ravens sitting atop the door,
Mounting upon the two broken busts above the
library’s open door.
Step over the three shining puddles
of water and opalescent gasoline,
rainbows on the rugged streets
lined with the sick and dirty trash of empty halls.
Feel the four linen sheets lining a dusky soapbox stage,
set up by frail, young hands,
about to open and reveal their debut.
Take a seat in one of the four rusted chairs,
and clap as they enter the scene.
Five crooked spindles on the rogue ‘stairway’ to Heaven,
just another place to rest easy,
flutes singing in your ears,
the old treehouse you see everyday you come home from school.
5 ornaments of broken glass dripping from leaves
casting ornate shadow battles
in prismatic colours.
There are six geese flying ahead,
stroking the sky with their cloud-clotted wings,
Singing in their funny little way,
Burnt bread sticks scattered by the bench outside,
Six pigeons and birds pecking at them happily,
contempt with their crumbs.
A dozen? Nah, only seven roses in this bunch,
blooms hugging close to the plastic that covers them,
the girl’s cheeks red as she rushes to the door.
Seven playing cards strewn on the ground,
muddy, but all good cards for a game.
Eight doric columns on the faux parthenon you built,
stuck somewhere in the messy closet
of your favourite memory.
Eight simple phrases no one could remember in spanish class,
that somehow ended up on the test.
Now no one ever forgets them.
There are nine empty bottles of perfume
weighing down the arms of an interior designer,
smiling as he finishes the home he’s been working on forever.
Nine lost love letters curling through the wind,
away from their intended targets.
Ten beautiful things you can never recreate.
Ten more that deserve a second chance,
another sideways glance.
The tenth is found in the glass that shines so well you can see yourself.
And again when you smile back at it.