Basement Days

It puts the loaves
in the oven.  It puts
the iron in the fire.  It
sets the timer for high
noon.  It divides the nickel
from the lead.  It leads
the way into the basement
where whispers take
root & something
slithers behind the shelves.
It tilts the scales
of justice & sows
the lichen & the flames
of the furnace, red
wagging tongues.
One in the oven
is worth two legs
of a stool.  Tonsured,
hosed, ready for a
night in forever
etched in wood, whose
portrait will fill the empty

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