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This, precious demon, is how you caught me


the sweetest pricks

the pinching of strings


lamps slanting their ivory outpour

across polished brazil nut skin

reflecting a line like a frozen finger

of lightning


the artist’s finger

on the warbling string

a bottom lip



no matter how softly

she strokes the violin

there is not a sound

the walls don’t hear


the keening

of your hopeless, stranded



a river for my ears striking me

where I stood


carrying the bundle

of me into new years


where the sweetness of you

cradles me

through yet another century


of longing to be

near the gaping mouth

of that hourglass body

from which the hum


of exquisite perplexity

sighs through me


oh cracking melody

I can’t even move

while you torment me


so gingerly

so precisely


the sweep of a thumb

along the bass’s strings

a pulsing


in my paralyzed neck

oh, how I want to be

caught in your ripening eternity


tell me what to be

tell me, because I have forgotten

I am me


pluck me

along the sharpening

of your soprano legato


where I long to be the strings

the bow strokes

so keenly


teach me to be air

and you will see how I can sing


when underwater

and still breathing

the perfume


into which you refine me


your story will never leave

twisting me, pulling


me into the glossy conch shells

your eyes are becoming

where I am spiraling


I flail but the railing

too is flying

away into the bubbly



the moon a raspberry

in this honey-spilled


of awakening


and like the sea

you smell like something

heavy and breathing


like the sea, you drench me

with tugging and pressing

but starting from my mind

and only then

dampening down

toward sand-mired feet


I am crooked

in the slanted sliding of

your uneasy embrace


where you kiss me gently like a truck

wrapping around the tree

after leaning


across the twin yellow snakes


your arms are the roots

of my fire


your legs the sapphire branches

of thrumming dragon

fly wings


you are cedar on the tongue

of poetic intrigue


and if anything

like my own creativity

you swelled and aged


into everything your mother hoped

you would never be


but I love the very taste

of your daring



do you feel these inverted peaks

of harmony?


this is how your bass

will slam through me


stretched frequencies

draping our shapes

and humming through us

like bees


like sunlight in a jar

you are trapped

so long as I do not move


like sunlight you are slippery

as I fall forward into this dream

you fall with me


what I’m trying to tell you is

you struck all the right chords in me

there was no flower, there were no bees

yet still you made honey from me


this glass crystallizing in the corners

of my eyes mean I fear

I may never


hear you again

This poem was published by La Piccioletta Barca, February 2020


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