Leveler Poetry Journal
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When the back door opened the jazz hit the night, too. It meshed with the frozen spit upon the careless masonry. The black air smelled like a battery had been crushed by fish machines, the way a pugilist’s bandages are taped during a bout, the way a carpenter stomps among cast-off boards and trash. Sawdust sticks bitterly to the tongue. Down at the wharf shops, the jazz, now more distant, was sonar garrulous and thudding. A smiling man sat paring a mango with his back to the sea. A vicious woman was pouring waste from an alley window. A colossal octopus with brain damage had written eight poems on university letterhead. He watched in wonder as they flapped and flitted like confetti from the swaying dock.

Gregg Murray