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(Photographs by Paul Cunningham)

 

THE WORD IS REFLECTED

there are many storefronts in this mall
and there are many reflections
there is drama there is something reflected
there are mirror columns in this mall
they are for the people they are for the looking
but there are no people in this mall
there is some drama in this mall
there are mirror columns in this mall
but there are no people in this mall
there is a proscenium stage in this mall
a former DEB retail chain store
there is a proscenium stage in this mall
a former DEB retail chain store
there is some drama in this mall
chains and masks and drama in this mall
there is drama there is something reflected
there is something reflected in this mall
but there are no people in this mall
there is something reflected in this mall
chains and masks and drama in this mall
but there are no people in this mall

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THE WORD IS NO DIFFERENCE

there are few skylights in this mall
there is day and there is night
but there is no difference in this mall
there is only darkness in this mall
there are few skylights in this mall
there is public wi-fi and there is facebook
but there are no people in this mall
there is day and there is night
but there are no people in this mall
there is no difference in this mall
but there is day and there is light
but there is no light in this mall
there are no people in this mall
there is only night
there is only night in this mall
there is day and there is light
but there is only night
there is only night in this mall

 

 

THE WORD IS VINES

there is only jungle
there is no mall
there are no hands
there are no hands there is no holding
there are no escalators to hold onto
there are no hands there is no holding in this mall
only jungle
there is only jungle
on the third level
no hands
no hands engorged
no hands engorged with bags
on the second level
no gorgeous bags engorged with bags
no people no bags no people on posters
not one single bag
on the first level
only jungle
only vines
only jungle
only vines
there are no hands there is no holding in this mall
only jungle
every level
only jungle
there is no mall
there is no mall in this mall
only jungle
there is only jungle in this mall

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Paul Cunningham currently lives in Athens, Georgia. He has translated two chapbooks by Sara Tuss Efrik: Automanias: Selected Poems (Goodmorning Menagerie, 2016) and The Night’s Belly (Toad Press, 2016). Excerpts from his translation of Helena Österlund’s full-length collection Words and Colors have appeared in EuropeNow, Interim, Asymptote, and Sink Review. With Jake Syersak, he currently co-edits a micro-press called Radioactive Cloud. His own original poetry has appeared in OmniVerse, DIAGRAM, Yalobusha Review, Witness, Gigantic Sequins, Bat City Review, and others. He is a Princeton University INCH scholar and he holds a M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Notre Dame.

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