A Dreadful Claim, by Michael Gizzi

I have fled as Niagara, I’ve fled as a fishtail.
I have fled as a magpie sporting only a necktie.
I have fled omnivorously, on a chafing dish.
I have fled as a scent from the Orient.
I have fled as a crystal. I have fled as a wiz.
I have fled as a quail, to no avail.
I have fled as a squint that sorely hides.
I have fled as a fossil, as a riptide.
I have fled as a bulimic, starving bitterly
As will she who dines with me.
I have fled with my nose in a book.

[This poem appears, in a slightly different version, in his book New Depths of Deadpan, 2009. This is what the poem sounded like when he read it at Segue in 2004, with me as co-reader. Charles Borkhuis said we fit together “like a foot in a mouth.” I just know I loved him and will continue to do so.]

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