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Incarnadine Laundress

The gray bone sky is the fluke
                            of the whale in the distance.
Later, when I measured detergent,
                            the past became irrevocable.
Also, green-bullet grass chopped
                            up the lawn mower, cut a stone
               to pieces.
When we betray our own interests, do we
                             not admit to an inherent loneliness?
Why did Samson lose Delilah?
Merely because of a casket of silver pieces?

Still, all day I was at sea, fully
                              apart from several parts of myself.
I could have stopped
                              looking, but didn't.  Could have
                stopped, and did.
Distracted, held up my hands,
                              considered again.  To
                approach a leviathan.
Like the psyche, who clings
                               to the corset of our ribs and to our
                 alabaster hips.
Or as some words are often
                                confused with each other–
                  breath, breathe, then, than.
I could not begin without asking
                                 myself one-seventh of a question:
If love, whether holy or corporeal,
                                 romantic or erotic, may be said
                   to be in our own interests at all.
Entire epochs have depended
                                 upon a ready answer.
All day yesterday, I ate olives, rode
                                 waves, swallowed brine.
Then a quicksilver thrill, a flash
                                 of breath, forehead hot.
Among my accoutrements, I find
                                 a shoehorn, a red construction
                   paper heart, the shell
                                 of a conch.
Posted 03/26/13
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