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Two Poems photo


I am all the way turned on; turned up. Nerve-hiss-skin. There is a story here, and I am running
interference. Asking you: to press—your face, your nose—much closer.

      So close        your nostrils touch my lips
      So close        whiskey sweetraw crowning at my throat

Inhale sharp, then hold. Do not breathe out. Do not whistle. For thirty seconds, do not speak:
just press and lean and fall into the smoke of every yes I’ve ever lied, every cherry stem I’ve tried
to swirl, knot-tight, in my mouth.

      Now you are light-headed.
      Now your skin is Styrofoam.


Your knowingness has turned. A shrinking box. The trick
is getting out. Every day, you swear to leave. Every night,
you drift into a corner: wake to find your body pressed
against the door. You fever-dream in squares: embrace
sharp edges, kiss parallelograms. When it rains, look
for alleyways: find a flat brick wall, then press your back
against it like a glove. Except your back is not a hand.
Except a glove is not a square. Except a glove is actually
a palm, and you have grown afraid of hands. That is, any
hands but yours.


image: Bryan Bowie