I’m reading some things

Charlie wrote about cancer

and Colette because I can’t

sleep and because

what he wrote is beautiful

and it’s cold outside

because it’s November

and my body is not what I want

it to be it’s not a French

kiss or piece of gold

leaf, it’s not even a thread

of saffron or a hard-on,

all day it was not a puddle

with a stick in it, it was not

a car alarm or a strip club,

it never became a canoe

with a wooden Indian inside

it, his war paint chipping

because of all the tingling

oxidation going on

in this motherfucker, in this

room where my body

is. Where my body is not

like anything I have ever

dreamed about. The hands

look like something

someone painted in third

grade, which feels like stars

floating above a maple tree

which is the idea of control

if the idea of control

had no blood in it, had no

Conquistadors, in which case

it would have no idea

about me and what a good

job I do at not running

my arms through

with a grapefruit spoon

or swallowing my tongue

when you say nice things

which reminds me of worms

and the worms are like

subway cars and those cars

are full of people and the bodies

of the people, sitting

or standing, reading and talking,

trying not to fall over, not

to crash into each other and then

what, all while a worm speeds

through a tunnel

built beneath a city of light


and leather jackets. My body

is not a kind of music

or a certainty, it’s not a pin-wheel

or a touch screen, it’s not

a lamp or a trumpet or basalt

or milk or a band-aid

left on the kitchen counter

which earlier had been

placed over a small cut a kid

had made in the backseat

of the car while his mother

was in the market buying

bread and cigarettes, a cut

he made on purpose, with

something he found in her

purse, but when it began to bleed

he begins to cry and says

someone else did it, because

he’s afraid, and so he does,

he invents another body, a strong

body to do the things he needs done.

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