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City Pastoral

Ian Koh


…floor by floor

window by window

until they

see ornaments to adorn bare skin:

square, triangle, diamonds,

ovals, pyramids,

the magical ornaments

dangle mysteriously atop

unnamed wearers

glinting in the sun

catching wandering eyes.


The gondola man—

a fairytale hero—

scales the sides on

some kind of quest with

a sturdy primitive tool.

Enchantment thrown with

each cast by this scraggly

wizard newly emerged from his cave.

The sky and clouds change

like world skins moving

over to the side while

indecision remains. Time

the currency from a

money printing machine

makes the jewels sparkle

like the sea. The buildings

stand out of the city because

there’s magic in the showing.

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