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The Virgin Disambiguates

 Today, a test to identify my bones, the door
to your room swung shut. Don’t say
anything with your mouth. Try this: before

words, a lettered spine, one language ancient, more
aware than you of what body means. Today
a mouse, unboned, blacked like rot beneath our door,

a dirty coin. You argue like a Tudor
scholar – for the right to touch, you play
upon compliant and complaint. Before

you ask, Marvell’s mistress sent no letters, pored
instead over her own anatomy. O gray
mouse, I disjoint. My body, a dark fillet under your door.

Bone saws can’t cut through tongue. Ignore
this blinding white of alphabet, letters on my slate-
cold body, my mouth a harmless cocktail. Bar the door,
Maria
, this door of new-grown bones.
Posted 10/08/09
"The Virgin Disambiguates" was first published in Bat City Review, Issue 5, Spring 2009.
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