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WHY SAINTS KNIT HAIR SHIRTS

                              “When we take a very cold shower, we feel very alive.
                              It is difficult to take a cold shower. It is difficult to
 
                              remain very alive.”
                                                            —the shrinking genitals
 

Twenty pesos bought me a towel
and a used soap cake. Three minutes running,
the water was still smack-gasp

cold and in it the world
condenses itself into the inches
between my pried-open eyes
and the wall’s peeling
blue paint: cracked robin
egg blue, Caribbean ocean
postcard blue, rickety Mexican taxi
blue, a brand new—no, I see it
from inside it. My shiver isn’t
mine, but a salamander vertebrae
vibrating through me. A set
of larger lungs shoved
into my chest pant
in bucket upon bucket
of sí evanescent air.
___________

My clacking teeth clipped
that moment into bits
I swallowed. It is in me.
Now I light like incense
this sense intensification
to let it coil up out my mouth,
and defy the gravity of even
the densest of sentences: there
I was, now make me more this.


Posted 12/31/11
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