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Excerpt: 'The Cloud Corporation'

The Cloud Corporation

To His Debt

Where would I be without you, massive shadow
dressed in numbers, when without you there

behind me, I wouldn't be myself. What wealth
could ever offer loyalty like yours, my measurement,

my history, my backdrop against which every
coffee and kerplunk, when all the giddy whoring

around abroad and after the more money money
wants is among the first things you prevent.

My phantom, my crevasse -- my emphatically
unfunny hippopotamus, you take my last red cent

and drag it down into the muck of you, my
sassafras, my Timbuktu, you who put the kibosh

on fine dining and home theater, dentistry and work
my head into a lather, throw my ever-beaten

back against a mattress of intractable topography
and chew. Make death with me: my sugar

boat set loose on caustic indigo, my circumstance
dissolving, even then -- how could solvency

hope to come between us, when even when I dream
I awaken in an unmarked pocket of the earth

without you there -- there you are, supernaturally
redoubling over my shoulder like the living

wage I never make, but whose image I will always
cling to in the negative, hanged up by the feet

among the mineral about me famished like a bat
whose custom it is to make much of my neck.

Excerpted from The Cloud Corporation by Timothy Donnelly Copyright 2010 by Timothy Donnelly. Excerpted by permission of Wave Books.

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Timothy Donnelly