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Blake in Boca Raton↤ The OED defines “parnel” as “A priest’s concubine or mistress; a harlot; a wanton young woman.”
He cannot help but see conspiracies
everywhere—in a flashing traffic light
that orders a Chevy to a sudden halt,
in cameras perched atop electric fences.
Here, nothing is unthinkable, with streets
all rightly angled to the avenues
and swept so clean by gasping, humpbacked trucks,
he leaves no footprints where he wanders barefoot.
But the colors, a chaos of inflorescence,
of ginkgo leaves, of cruciform shoots entangled
with ovate blossoms, weeping lantana, and leaves
pink-tipped and purple-ringed that smell like opium.
Not knowing their names, he makes his own: The Parnel’s*
Mad Song, Thro’ Fires Unconsumed, Orange Unfettered.