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Matt Hart




It’s good to be in company and accompany—

a line I transplanted and stole from myself.

Today I’m a pinball, but I use the word flamingo,

my one leg gleaming as I stand for something


resonant: beauty in the face as the sun cracks

up.  Truly, I have used the word flamingo

maybe ninety-five hundred times in an attempt


to achieve some kind of devastating balance,

a life upon the rocks and in the awful pink sky.

There’s always the sky, and the pink is always

awful, though somehow not unpleasant


in a too sweet sort of argument—an argument

that waves with declarative exclamation: I will

stand here forever!  I will never disappear!


Those rocks will be my warning and my anchor

on this planet.  My friends rally round on my one foot

hopping, bring their own plastic versions that we stand on

the lawn—triumphant on the lawn, and we’re not


even drowning, because effusion, you can breathe it,

and it never stops glowing.  Flamingo flamingo,

and my name is Matt. This is for the people who I love


and love me back: Melanie, Agnes, Evan Jane and

Brett, Nate and Gina, Russell and Merrill, Dobby and

Dean, Darcie, Eric and Tricia, Mary Anne and Mike,

Nick and Kirsten, Tony and Avril, Ken Kim and Gary,


Alexis and Morgan, Matthew Liz and Patti,

Samuel and John and John and now Clay,

now Paul, now stand up for Kiki, stand up


for Alex, for Michael and Marisha, for Jonathan

and Kate, Sarah and Sara, Mike Vallera Mike

Vallera and Will in Montana, Adam in Wisconsin, O

I’m standing on one leg, Jason California and Patrick,


who I’ve met only twice in my life and Micah

who I’ve never met, but love on the page, and Mary

and Todd, Terri and Steve, all the Blood Brothers


and Weird Sisters and the Daisy at my feet, Row

Row Row with free association to Gregory and

Guillaume, Neal and Margaret, Jasmine Dave and Drew,

Brooke Kelly Tabatha, Rian and Stuart, Addie and Mark,


Cesar and Roberto and the Everyman I forgot, the Every-

Woman, everybody stand up, everybody everybody,

I’m stupid with flamingoes, I’m stupid but lucky,


the awful pink sky and the rocks, notwithstanding.

I’m standing on one foot.  I’m naming names.

I’m call and response.  The list so endless

and amazing, it’s almost tragic.  The distances,


the effusiveness.  Don’t be embarrassed.  I refuse

to be hurt. When you have people you love, it’s enough.


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