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The thing about the dove was how he cried in

my pocket and stuck his nose out just enough to

breathe some air and get some snow in his eye and

he would have snuggled in but I was afraid

and brought him into the house so he could shit on

the New York Times, still I had to kiss him

after a minute, I put my lips to his beak

and he knew what he was doing, he stretched his neck

and touched me with his open mouth, lifting

his wings a little and readjusting his legs,

loving his own prettiness, and I just

sang from one of my stupid songs from one of my

vile decades, the way I do, I have to

admit it was something from trains. I knew he'd like that,

resting in the coal car, slightly dusted with

mountain snow, somewhere near Altoona,

the horseshoe curve he knew so well, his own

moan matching the train's, a radio

playing the Inkspots, the engineer roaring.

The Inkspots

Gerald Stern

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