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Gainesville, Florida
An empire of moss,
              dead yellow, and carapace:
that was the season
              of gnats, amyl nitrate, and goddamn
rain; of the gator in the fake lake rolling

his silverish eyes;
              of vice; of Erotica,
give it up and let
              me have my way. And the gin-soaked dread
that an acronym was festering inside.

Love was a doorknob
              statement, a breakneck goodbye—
and the walk of shame
              without shame, the hair disheveled, curl
of Kools, and desolate birds like ampersands . . .

I re-did my face
              in the bar bathroom, above
the urinal trough.
              I liked it rough. From behind the stall,
Lady Pearl slurred the words: Don’t hold out for love.