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It starts with the pang of nausea in your third trimester.

How in the still wind 

the contractions are the smell of creosote.

The scratch of chalk on a board is reflex.

Learning is dental. Perfume salivates.

We gather together in the dusk that is sandpaper.

A bassoon describes the yolk of daffodils,

the dolour of a minor chord spilling across the ear’s hessian

curtailed by mixed metaphor’s ungainly habit. 

The shredded tyres of crows undone at the roadside

distorted feathers wafting in the slipstream’s gale.

Music tells how hell’s bells taste of sibilance and cardamon.

Nothing can be done about the soup stain’s sixth sense.

Music tells how the smell and taste and touch and noise 

blur with second sight, how blind premonitions conjure tubas

how percolating coffee smells of peppermint

how chemotherapy tastes of steel

how in the confusion of human sense omens sound red.

Mark O'Flynn has published 6 collections of poetry as well as 4 novels. His latest book is a collection of short fiction 'Dental Tourism.'

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