Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Undone Thing

My body's naked decay
illuminates a room of mirrors,

themselves reflections, years
compressed into a backward look.

That was flat bone, that, my eye,
that, hard skin, sharp spine.

As number shapes itself,
a man gradually freezes

into the markless prism
of each day: One. Attention!

Two. Prayer! Three. Reach out!
Thus, the count approximates me.

The caliper and the scale
exact a shade of difference

between mole and carcinoma-
sensations bought and sold:

a faceless, Ernstian torso,
odalisque sans ottoman,

beckons like blue oblivion;
afloat in a dusty tearpool

with feathers, stone, and pigment
peeled from unsized canvas,

she is the life of reclining truth,
with plump breasts pointing up.

The seductions of flounder
stall when fins touch glass;

untentacled jellyfish loom
out of the clouds of sand

the moment our quotidian fate,
the miracle of food, descends.

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