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Dear South West,
Brian Clifton (Missouri University, USA)



The geometry in your fabrics
could proof the painted deserts
through summer with cotton
and walnut dye as its only givens.
Their threads fit themselves
three-hundred per inch like loose
clenched fists behind knees.
Each knotted lightning bolt lilts
the way some women laugh
from balconies where they can
not be seen. But I don’t love

your fabrics and their geometric
meadowlarks. Your night, pregnant
with mint, gilds my breath as mice
do to walls: plaster to chain link
to planks and electric wire. I chew
your mint sprigs into skeletons
until my teeth remember the green
of your rounded cacti, your stray

hare, your desiccated summer’s
high notes. When your shadow
and mine appeared as our shadow
then sand, we weaved as cotton
through rain as if it were cotton



Brian Clifton lives in Kansas City, Missouri where he walks mostly everywhere he goes. He plays bass and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at UMKC.

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