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ISSUE:  Spring 2012

Anyone can kiss me. Anyone
can pin my face with two hands and
kiss me hard. As with much in life, it
has taken me a long time to understand this.
I study so many things: the way a hawk’s wings

when stretched allow them to dry faster;
the way the extract of the foxglove reduces
the results of a failing heart, can alter vision
if taken in excess, something Van Gogh understood
without understanding the exact mechanism.

You would expect me, at this point, to reference
something from Greek Antiquity, but I won’t.
No need. Anyone can kiss me, but this does not mean
anyone wants to, does not mean anyone wants to
change my bandages when the terrible wings

are decaying, the feathers blackening and falling off,
the dark blood inscribed on the bandages and sheets.
Who on earth wants a man more monster than angel?
I lie face down while you remove the bandages
and clean up the mess. Nothing a little rubbing alcohol

can’t clean up, you say. And when you finish, when you
bend and kiss the rotting wings between my shoulder blades,
I have nothing to say. But I need something to say.
Even now, I still need something better to say
than this hush love creates between two people.


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