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The Cento for September 3, 2019

During every First Tuesdays open mic, we communally compose a cento using language taken from each open-mic reader’s offering. On September 3rd, those readers were: Edward Ji (who came to First Tuesdays from the Breakout initiative), Patricia Carragon, Valerie G. Keane, Marty Levine, Malcolm Chang, Herb Rubenstein, Faizan Sayed, David Siller, Henry Sussman, Norman Stock, and Lydia Chang.

Cento

1.

I move like the dead, to the beat of thunder.
Like drumbeats her anxiety moves fast, but happiness moves faster.

2.

Look dad, a worm father!
That place where you’re going, look there
and if someone is there, don’t go there.

3.

I froze on the shore - searching, searching, searching.
Turn of the year, crumbs of mercy
from some muse or other
in a very minor key,
the way she wore her silence, like a hijab.
Stranger, I’m sorry for your suicide.

4.

The worst way to make love
is standing up in a hammock
beneath proud, preening towers
with Asian tigers
and a random mongoose thrown in.

5.

What is to become of me?” I say
and there is an odd confidence in my voice.

I’m going to make my own coffee.
This relationship is not working.

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