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Operation (I)

                                    Michelle Chan Brown

Covert, hardly cordial, came commands
from the quarters, hind
and head. Twin branches of the same

government. My mind: heretic, fiend
for fashion, my rhetoric
a couture magazine, all pictorial

content. Back issues abundant, still,
in the pews, the waiting room,
meant for other congregants hell-

bent on staying empty.
In them, as in me, no creed
but beauty, and a brain pretending scorn

for beauty. Chimes of the church I
worshipped: the unholy body, well-read.
No holes to speak of. No heart.

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