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Curtis Perdue

The Book of Islands



Hey, I have a body too.

Except on Sundays.


When the volcano gives

birth to another isle


the sea urchin lusts

after a pineapple.


Are those stars

on your tongue, or did I open


my eyes under water?

Sometimes I long


To be a hammock.

Sometimes my body, tangled


like mangrove roots. A crab

with one claw still gets by.


The sky wears a sarong

of clouds and I am peeking


at the sun.

Sometimes I close my eyes


to see what’s not there.

Usually an elephant 


in the shape of a cloud.

Usually a cluster of islands


glowing in a black sea.

I’m stranded on one.


Can you see me

waving away the pelicans?

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