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Anonymous Afternoon
Linda Nemec Foster (bio)

I have invented a new genre,
that of silence.
—Isaac Babel

The man in the red shirt is in love with the green carpet.
Its speckled edges of gray, the orange slash of color

in the far corner of the room.  Its silence.  If it could talk,
the man knows the carpet would sound as confident
as a fortune cookie:

Happy news is on its way.
Tomorrow will be a productive day,
don’t oversleep.
Remember three months from this date!
Your lucky star is shining.

Shining, shining like this afternoon where there is nothing
to do except watch the carpet be nothing but a carpet.
There’s always the window and its cavalcade of blue sky
or that huge oak tree pointing its huge fngers

at a random cloud.  But the silence of the carpet is better.
Somewhere there is someone who is just about to

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