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Itinerary for Another Woman

ISSUE:  Autumn 1991
Early on, we’ll hit the races.
Complimentary front row seats.
Just keep betting until you win—
all those different packs of hounds
never snag the bogus rabbit.

Then, from Yokohama, I’ve flown in
an irezumi master: full-body tattoos.
The Seven Gods of Good Fortune
span his torso; dragons, peonies
tooled onto either thigh.
His own work. He’ll demonstrate,
if you’re interested.

I’m afraid we’ll have to skip lunch.

Tonight, you have a choice.
A tour of the meat lab,
bungee jumping, or Julius Caesar,
the spring show at the military academy
complete with collapsing stage.

But first, a stop at my house.
You can pick up the things
you stored in my basement
when I assumed we were friends.
The Polish paintings, oppression
in gray and black. Your old mattress,
its Rorschach splotch of blood.

Before we leave, I’ll show you
my jewelry. Every last piece.
A necklace, mother-of-pearl,
each flat bead smooth as a tooth.
An amethyst, planetary
in its silver band. True pearls
for my wrist, small moons
strung with stars. Tiger’s eye
still warm from my skin.
Shouldn’t you take these too?


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