Remember, a body is a house, is a machine needing constant attention; wind the clocks morningward just to wind them again, wax the floors to track mud in. The womb is a clean empty room. Blue, blue, blue, white birth control and then comes stubborn red. Flush it down the toilet, buy more powder scented tampons to mask the mammal smell. The toilet bowl will assert its brown ring, its gradual smirk. The clock will stare down from a high shelf, owl-faced, mutely watching while you, all pulse and pendulum, wind down vertebrae by vertebrae.

The wind is outside the window. You know it through its howling. He sleeps, turned away, snoring loud. You reach out to him, pressed to the stale night sweat of his back, wishing he would marry you but only so you might mark it off, succumb to your hourology. Really, you just want to be touched now, not cleanly in the curtained dark like he prefers, but now in surgical brightness so you might count his irregular moles, squeeze the blackheads from his pores, show him the pock and marble of your singular skin, make him love the haired thickness of your calves. But he is asleep. And baying desire, that pure insatiable will, that puerile hoofed animal, slams against your chest with a bovine determinacy that will not stop and will not stop.

To feel the wind in the seamusk of your unwashed hair, to live like a garden gone south, to sink into unyielding grass, naked without thought of reddening ticks or the crickets fat- tening at your mouths, to be in the unforgiving white-eyed sun long enough to fade your hair dye to the color of a rusty spigot and flush your skin red as a robin’s underbelly and as deliciously velvet, to release feckless skin to crack or callous, your black moles widen- ing, the weeds tree-tall and curling, flesh abandoned to mosquito suck and leafmeal and earthworms that blindly sleep curled in your ears—

to lie there so long you are for the wild furred beasts that enter you shamelessly, their ferric tongues musky and warm, their ferric tongues wanting you because you are rotten and rotting and live, infested with decay, deserving as you are of love or something like it, something that covers and is thick and heavy as pelt, something that will come upon you eventually and no matter what, like the wind, in waves effortlessly and without deliberate movement forward.



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