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Doll–Toti O’Brien

Hear her sudden voice

mortified by dirt walls.

Speaks incessantly, murmuring

a faint song then remembering

sunbeams, silken umbrellas

pink pearls. She lies

outnumbered by acidic bottles

rotten by dust and rust.

Obstinate, undertaking obscurity

moistened by twilight, she cries

while with untrained fingers

I scan for sensible lines in my ear

full of labyrinthine dead ends

trusting at each turn I’ll find

the right spot, right sonority.

Below, my chest has cracked open.

Earth keeps tumbling.

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