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The Husband without Clothes

ISSUE:  Winter 2021

Admit it. This is how you want me, slick where desired, 
rough where requested. Seamless in the dark. Muscle 
is a product of resistance, sinews a measure of tension, 
and you love the interplay of both under your hands. 
It’s not so hard to be what you want when what you want 
is simple. It’s enough when it’s enough, and by this metric 
we have brought ourselves to the hours between 
blue dusk and glaring dawn in a world that doesn’t want us 
wholly satisfied. If the present is a weed cracking the asphalt, 
then the past is an errant seed. Isn’t it strange to speak 
these words? I shudder and the birds lift from the trees 
outside our bedroom window. You laugh and they come back, 
preen and settle. It has been like this for years, my enemy, my love. 
I am with you in the waver and wilderness of the decades. 
I am standing by the bed at full attention. I am listening 
to the story you tell with your body’s bewildered hitch and catch,
the change that unbraids the self from itself, for a time, effortless.


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