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The Pleasure Principle


ISSUE:  Winter 2001
We are failed agnostics, so many moments
of conviction. Even this Midwestern
sunrise moves us—Rothko strip of pink

above the Poultry Lab. All appetite,
all sweat and dander, what keeps us
from the neighbor’s throats

(their garden gnomes, their damned
dog barking)? Maybe just this labial glow,
the way the lake ice mutters and booms.

It’s early, cold out. These bodies
are nothing, wear them once
and throw them away—

but they’re good nothing. Your warm neck,
small snore. Roomful of salmon light.
Night unzipping its sequined gown.

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