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Teddy bear window display
halts three gossips
while the red traffic light matches nails, lipstick & hats.

In the corner cafe
a man sits sideways at window bar
his sunburnt neck fringed with gray curls.

Across the street a church
projects the Virgin of Guadalupe
upon its five story warehouse facade.

The Virgin stands unaware of crosswalks
and people, eyes down,
unsure which serpents need crushing.

The Sunday bells recording
electronically rings folks into the plain brick vestibule
and onto folding chairs, while the man

wears a newspaper face mask
and fetches from around the headline margins
his tea cup from the table for sipping.

The three gossips
pick it up as the light changes
and they flow with the crowd

toward manufactured sanctuary, atonement
and redemption for five dollars
dropped in the collection plate.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Having No Other Explanation

Near our tent
on the beach
four ivory tusks—
large ones
like elephant tusks—
lay on the sand
in a geometric pattern
with the designer’s
washed away.

We were there
several days
before we realized
they moved
a few feet every night
toward the dune
that separated
the beach
from the parking lot.

You suggested
a phalanx of ants
hefted them
in the moonlight
using their super
strength ratio
to body mass
and teamwork

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney