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On Some Collages by Joseph Cornell

I like to see things
as clearly as I can.

I’ll slice anything you give me
quicker than a Chinaman
and more cleanly—
Bloody meats and radishes
a penis or a peach.

Can’t you take the picture
just like this?
I need my lions; I’m a queen.
They’ve eaten; don’t be scared.

Joseph, Joseph, Joseph
condenses the universe so
a bird comes squeezing
through a girdle
and they are everywhere
in my hair and on the walls—
But I’m not scared;
it’s all absurd, but very calm.

His words are birds, his eye’s the sky
his hat will never be on fire
no matter how the candle tries.

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