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Chlamydia

                                    Jaimee Hills


Like cellar door,
Chlamydia.
There’s melody cloaked in the malady.
Forget the cinderblocks, the grimy ground
behind the words, like the brutality
of the rain. Hear its lovely drum, the sound
Chlamydia
caught in the downpour.

Like clematis,
Chlamydia,
a clitoris by any other name.
The name as sweet might mean a creeping flower,
petal-clad, wearing the silky plume
of traveler’s joy, snowdrift, virgin’s bower,
chlamydia,
or satin curls.

Like Clytemnestra,
Chlamydia
(whose mother Leda caught it from a swan).
It ought to be the color tangerine,
a lightning storm, or a high-class salon,
this parasite who should have been a queen,
Chlamydia,
another Cleopatra.

Like Fragonard,
Chlamydia.
In a French Rococo garden, light and gaudy,
it drapes a woman on a swing mid-swoop
as a man kneels below her skirt—both bawdy
in their powdered wigs, her pose, his gape.
Chlamydia
should swap with fulgid.


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