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Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy where she edits the Italian edition of Niederngasse. Her poetry has been published in Envoi, The Pedestal, Rattle, Smiths Knoll and 2River View. Her first full collection of poetry, The Desecration of Doves, is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.



you shouldn't expect spiritual answers.
The boy from French class is the one

shaking the table. His knees rub
against yours. What made you think

you could get away with doing
homework with him, wear a miniskirt

in the dark while raising the dead?
That thing caressing your inner thigh

isn't his hand. It's the Russian Blue,
its tail, rising like ghost under

a fur coat, strokes you intimately:
the moment of hunger. The planchette

under his hand claws away your buttons.
Canned tuna means your parents

won't be home before midnight.
You swore not to open to strangers.



We're only stone now,
our hands cut off by vandals.

In our time, we had a fetish
for amber robes, leather
sandals and bars of soap.

We could have come clean
earlier, rinsed each
other's feet with myrrh.

Lately, there have been more
confessions from accountants
about being unfit for the job.

Judas is a memory of silver,
dirt under everyone's nails
while he kissed other men.

We still hear him toss
coins down wells, swing from
a rope around his neck.

The sound is not unlike
this splatter of guano
on our stained shoulders.

Above our heads, haloes are
hangnails ossified in space.





  copyright Arlene Ang