The Shape of the Bell

The shape of the bell of sincerity is

The shape of the bell of sincerity is

The shape of the bell of sincerity is

cowbell

camel bell

four-corneredbeat

from a nondescript forge

So to speak
with the low-throated clang
with the workaday clap of sincerity
has a pastoral sanction

as green as the grass
as plain as the desert

And the words amble into lazy
rows like cattle

And the words flare nostrils,
scent the obvious battle,
step toward it, mirage their way home.

Or the shape of the bell
of ambivalence snags

with its unfinished anthems
the papyrus horizon; drags with
hoarfrost imprecision
its unsettled net over the trees
along the meadow’s humped back,
falls into anxious clatter, echolalia and

holy contradiction

And the words scatter from
the cornered fold;

and the desert tilts against

the line of caravan across inchoate sand —

No throat is clear
No universe sincere
without the monumental lie
of omission,

and the words that are
our facts, are our relief
across indifferent landscapes,

know their ways to truth
far better than our bells
that call them home.

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