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A felt hat or a cane,
a pair of worn out shoes

on a road thought
left behind—

or a hand-carved chess set
passed down from my grandfather:

the king’s crown
a bent nail,

the knight’s horse,
a nub on a pedestal

robbed of wings,
its would-be nose

blunt and chipped.
The queen can still fly anywhere.

Pawns are hardly worth her time:
each quickly sacrificed

to vacant spaces,
each hoping instead

for a personal invitation,
for his own particular

key to sadness.


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