Learning Your ABC’s by Laura Polley

Art is the taste of wild buttercup petals.
Before too long you’ll be forbidden to eat them.

Christ is a god wrapped in gauze,
draped in flaws. Sometimes religion seeps through.

Elephants wrinkle with the flow of the hunt:
Faith is a great ear flapping, unflappable.

Gender will press you to pick from a tree.
Hew to the orchard, and carry no axe.

Illusion finds depth in a shallow pool;
Justice is a lung exploding at the surface.

Kinetic fingers learn best in a cage:
Locks can’t resist an energetic tickle.

Maybe you’ll think I am crazy today—
No matter. Tomorrow is what I address

or what I expect, guard against, will back.
Politeness is listening, unwilling, to me.

Quality hides in a prospector’s pan.
Removed from the gold, it relaxes to earth.

Savannahs exhale, continental and dusty,
tarantulas sigh as one with the tigers.

Uniqueness is all I will ask of you.
Validity answers its own pale questions.

While preachers and prophets would never admit it,
X marks the spot where their sins become yours.

Youth is too new for a language of nuance,
Zero too old for the logic of grownups.

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