Summer here tips everything off
color, shades sweating out
where light cuts a white slit
down your damp forehead.
dragged its line of chalkdust,
line of lime. No flesh tone, no tone
recognizable, “hey love
will you hand me that”
lost voice of mine. It’s dark
at the end of the mind where the palm is
raised, ready to feel out the face of
who’s here come
to visit me. Could you tell which was your own
if you were asked to touch ten silent faces
in the dark? You nod yours. I skid
my nail along a jaw.
I slick my finger down
the hot gel drapery inside
a mouth. It’s summer here. But I would
know by feel the braille
of your ash-blue t-shirt’s fading
outline of a shark skull somebody
sprayed on before the cotton ebbed.
“What are you – ” I’m wearing
tights. “Are you – ”
I strict my sentences
to match the volume I’m encased by
like a door. Weight is my address,
how far away I live
from disappearance. I have often
knocked there. I turn into your fitness
room. The occupants with songs
plugged in their ears and foreheads
banded with bright spandex
lie down under free weights’ misassembled scales.
The balance pans cut from the chains are
welded to the lever-ends, an arm
lifts twenty whispered seconds
down again. Your spine a live horizon.
“Are you” I’m here. My skin
so wet it slides off like a veil.
Changes colors under different casts
of time. Is litmus to the atmosphere,
screen for the breath circumferenced
by my name. I live in the mind. I wanted
to live there. The scale is even
harder here to gauge. How large
are we in the changing room
where I stand rubbing in foundation
next to strangers stepping naked
from the steaming cubicles?
Am I too easy to see? I shade
my cheekbones up, I shade
my cheeks down. I had a person once
you propped up in the host’s
front closet curtained by the static
coats, their pricking at my sides,
I gripped the bar they
dropped from. I pull the steel bar
on the sliding door and walk through bodies
sealed behind black lycra,
silhouettes at ellipticals. I’ve gone to
have my shadow taken too. It went
Hi, why don’t you
sit down. Right here.
How old are you. A whole hand. Good.
Sit down. Look there sweetheart
don’t move. K, now I turn this on
and trace the outline of your face
in charcoal. Stay still
for me. The dark part’s you. There
done. Stand next to me
yes back here, good, now look
how your head goes white again.