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Without Base

They come in lots of five. I ordered three
to see if he was counting – he was not.
I said I liked mine cooked up in a pot
with double crust and fourteen squares of brie.
They have a satisfaction guarantee
(apparently there’s some who like it hot);
I asked if he could juggle – he said, “What?”
and dropped the lot. I got them all for free.

I left my cheese in Frankfurt, where divine
bordello babes chew caviar and clap
and unionists pour Riesling in the Main
while organs grind. Oh, there’s a funny chap
whose moustache is a horizontal line –
I wonder where he’s going with that strap?

There’s always room for sausage, said the king,
and broke his crown on truth too hard to chew,
so called instead for blackbird pie and stew
with all the lords and ladies set to sing.
I never knew my mother, what a thing,
at least not in the way that children do,
when rainbows rule and troubled stars are few
and Christmas cards are all the postmen bring.

In London, where the war begins to fall,
the Undergrounders mumble in their sleep
of summer days and sparkles over all.
The secrets grow too big for me to keep
while all around, the world is very small,
and footsteps come. They echo. Hear them creep.

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