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Man in a Ruff
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Published: Thu Jul 01 2004
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Man in a Ruff

in the court of Elizabeth I


A lapis stud.
             Pierced through the lobe of one shapely ear, the other cupped
by an oiled
             curl.
Eyes filmy as dew on glass, brimming edge
             of a glaucous sea—

             Man in a ruff.

In promenade
             with other plattered heads, jeweled and coiffed—

             How they want to loosen
the flesh
             tether

             in this moment
of inventing so much: new stars and countries, the toothed
             wheel—

             Man

offering his perfumed
             capital
to the glint in her gun-colored eye—

             What will she deem him.
Queen
             whitened with lead—

             He is Wounded Dog.

             Cannot Lick His Thigh.

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