The bells are as hard as the street,
but, though so much more beautiful than pavement,
like pavement, they can fail.
Fill them with mud, or chocolate,
or a choking storm of pigeon feathers,
and they whisper
like lost children.
The old witch reaches midtown
under a bitchy sky, twin to the pebble-hidden concrete sidewalk.
spirits have been walking up and down across them
both the same
like double evils.
Damn the crows who stole my beauty
(says the witch).
Damn the time that took the talent I had
for soft-talking the bells, and filling them
with cayenne sways
like red-skirted gypsies.
Now, the bells are as hard as the street,
and the old witch makes heel-sparks across the church steps,
hurrying past, looking for her stub-tailed cat,
unseen and unremarkable
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