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In the brothel diorama I took the missionary-position
deciding in advance that there is no under,
only equals, only parallel lines
across which will blue the onset of wonder.The cat-puppet dances

hinge-kneed in a faint

light that falls through

an elongated slit.

With your free hand you can dial-a-season: It’s October
or it’s April. It’s flux
of a mouth touching down on another’s.
The other touches back. A cold mirror between. Dark
on the far side. Blind on the near
but for a rake of light caused by part-sparkler
part-a winter mint bit in a nighttime room.
A compulsion to count.
The bare body. The heart’s downbeat
assaults the spine. A slight movement to the right
and my foot makes a chair
list, blister of unbroken air at an alter of ear.
Alternatives call for too much.
Architecturally speaking, I’m a restorative friction,
the sarcophagus lid above me wearing away
at resistance. A doll on her back. On a bed
being taken apart. Look at me dying.
I am lying. I am not.

This first appeared on NERVE in 2002.