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"Shoes off": a poem by James Collins

Some dark nights I drift out my window,

Where the streets are long strings

of red and white pearls,

Each one humming.


And sometimes

I'll get as far as the outskirts.

There the hills clench the city

Like a burning shield.


But from how far I went this dark night,

Twelve million and one street lamps

Were only a cheaply sequined dress.

Worn by the mountains,

Tossed under bullet hole stars.


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