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Then, for all the silver
That rolled down, that left
Ridged tracks, and then

That you caught it in raw palms
Wrestled it in a jar, for an inclement
Future. For the detonations:

The scraps we hungered
Over, the scabs that covered tender
Spaces we carried like plunder.

That I wouldn't say you made me
Furious, sunburnt, spitting
Mad: anomaly, and oasis.

For asking for, and of course
Over the answer: battle
Blistered, sodden in wry

Comprehension. Weighted
In mercury, burdened in time.
Who promised me storms?

Who promised me rain?
Glared it toward the cracks.
And for the gleaming edges

I insisted upon. For the dirty coins,
And for the canyons
That the water fell among.

Swan, Swan

I know your halves: how between gusts
of gray breath, gasps of absence
seep in you with coy whimpers.

I know you become addicted
each time, to beginning. I know you toss out
untouched leftovers, and miss them.

I know that I'm the cloud in your tea,
the letter you slit tremblingly open, and I
married you not from spite exactly--

But just to prove: I hold your bones
like marbles in my hand,
and I could set you rolling.


Tired of the jaw-clamp games,
Electric eyes, poetic smiles,
Fingers that roll like mercury;
Figures whose whole skins shuck right off
At baleful glances. “Is this why"
You asked “I never was--"
--trailed off, and I can't answer.

That you shook me loose like dice,
Scattered my unwieldy bones
For snake eyes every goddamn time.

Now, we wake in Arizona.
And it's arid, and it's dry,
Stifling: what'd you expect?
I want to know:

When you cuffed me to your wrists
Back then, who did you think i was?

Fashioned of tinder, glued
In spit? I threaten to fall crumbled
But stumble on instead, and you
Glint like the old hooked moon.
I do: believe I could set tides
By your crooked finger; do
Believe your skin is soft as skin
You pared off someone else's meat,

I do believe: your teeth
Are glass, mashed in gloppy blood,
Souped up, and left for years
Beneath a chapped-dry desert sun

I do believe your envy was--
Don't try to tell me otherwise: I know
How heavily we slept. I know
We stapled shut our eyes.


image: Claudio Parentela