I am coughing, and the cough | follows me like a pet | Each evening I drink | a concoction of dust | in plain water | this will cure me | I’m sure | My sons work | in the aerospace industry | I | stay close to my church | my arteries | branch and branch… | Out of my guts | once they are sifted | they may drag | the pebbles, the sharp | fragments of quartz | little mounds of powdered calcium | the bones | among the ashes | they will give forth | pansies and worts | mosses, the fan | shaped lichens on gravestones | Reduce me | I beg of them | pull down my spine | into the horns of gazelles | the liquorice | trundle of snails | and that | option on the sky | fill it with the shriek | of petrol blue swallows | At the top | far higher | than the fairy mines | of viruses | there are equations | sermons | parsings | of clauses and times | a spindly fuss | with measures like microns and zettaFLOPS | My sons | make good incomes | my sons | visit rarely | they are good people | I think | they lead good lives | I imagine | far off | in the valley | Up here | in the mountains | I cough | and cough | the air is clear | the water is pure | the marble | will stand | and my cough | follows me | and I | seeking the cure | drink down my dust

There was amazing progress from the team | goals achieved and fresh targets set | we were achieving achieving achieving | in the labs | polycarbonate | lift and drag | unique | identifiers | Other, 7 | Our professor | droned through the lecture | a thing | is the meaning of a thing | The point of the mountain | is in climbing the mountain | Ralph decided | he didn’t hear | what the avalanche said | Increasing production | reducing staff | more from less | we were kept busy | in our free time | there was the yacht and the cinema | At night | as if from a mine shaft | rising up | from the void | where “it all started” | sometimes at least | we couldn’t sleep | haunted | by the arid echoes | of a cough, cough, cough…

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from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

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