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The Sirens

Do you hear?

Listen, here again:

thin reed plaints
afloat light and breeze
rising and dying
within a wide white courtyard
where neatly mounded rag bundles
have wisely widely settled
beneath checked
church domes.

Do you hear?

They're women--
their faces layered pleats
of dried fig skins,
their eyes blind
but for a searing sun
that crusts their lips with spittle--


Listen to their long-drawn call
to the final sin of pity.

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