By | 15 February 2023

What kind of things
can go inside a poem
then? well
draperies and
fine cut marble
dressed with flowers and
the ribbon
from your hair

No one wears ribbons
anymore, no one
Not even you
I made up the ribbon
because it seemed
like the poem
was asking for it

They said later
he was asking for it
after the accident that
cut up his face
A disfiguration
seems to suggest that
the language used
to describe something has
It couldn’t be figured
as in to draw a figure
or to draw blood
Aren’t we all just
asking for it
But there was no accident
and no one’s
face was
I made it up
Why, I wonder, is this poem
asking these things
Posing them here
a ribbon, your hair
a thin ribbon of blood
from a face I can’t see
and you can’t see
None of this is real
There must be something
I’m getting at
otherwise why
write at all

What I’m asking is for
some neat summation
or turn of phrase
to save me here
To rescue me from this poem
A couplet that gives you
a flutter like something has
come alive inside you
I want to be alive inside you
but I can’t, because
are not real, you wear
ribbons and the accident
was on purpose

A thin ribbon of blood
on old stone
If you rub your hand
on the stone
you can still feel the ridges
where the chisel cut
It hasn’t been smoothed out
The stone is red marble
your hand rests on an edge
You think this is your body
old stone, old words
cut out of you
I wanted to figure you
But I can’t

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