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Relative


by Samuel Derrick Rosen


Madame Butterfly
Please watch your mouth
There's no use in praising
Famous men
The absence of your love
Has gotten in the way

Of things like trains
On a timeless track
Filled with headless passengers
And naked old ladies that smoke tobacco
While dreaming of black widows
And cuckoo clocks without cuckoos
And plastic fruits containing seeds
And tongues that do not miss their mouths
And ceilings that must meet their ground
And Santa in a ballet costume
And Jesus with his fingers in his ears

It is nothing more than relative
Beyond the double negative
The black and white is not yet pure
The black and white, it must be pure

Madame Butterfly
Please close your lips
There's no use in
Accusing priests
The absence of your love
Has gotten in the way

Of medieval torture instruments
And cartoon representatives
Of a cartoon heaven and a cartoon hell
And ink blot tests on soft cement
And truths allergic to an honest mind
And children that long for imprecision
And Hollywood nativity plays
And graves of new world elephants
And dilated pupils of cosmic giants
And the sickness of a peaceful body
And the thou and thy of antiseptic art

It is nothing more than relative
Religiously repetitive
It is nothing that you can endure
It is nothing that you should endure.
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