Down your river of arm, a torrent. Blood, bone
muscle, skin, nerve, nail,
tendon, marrow, cartilage,
This is a cloudburst’s sudden phalanx,
inches’ sentiment and sweat.
Upbody a wingbarb has licked at the spine.
At 22 mph the bed load rolls grabs.
With antediluvian turbulence
we’ve inherited from the shrew,
the hand makes a thousand gestures.
This one unspools at the banks.
Boat, half-moon, pyramid, pea, table, trapeze, grapple, gun.
Into the delta, then farther out,
50 waves of tendon per second,
all the kings’ men drowned.
Though by the flood of the faithed to the Good Book
we’re dykes and damned if we do,
trillion gallons of water downriver
this morning corkscrew. The bulk of a body,
I’ll take it,
little rubber tube of myself
riding the beast of the flood.
“And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at the gate, full of sores …”
climbed windward walls of the city
checked myself into the skin-books
a swelling a scab a shiny spot
pothook pool on this stretch of horn whirling
you sprout you
sprout at my spine sunder the covers
drop foot claw hand mask face rasp
balls if I had them unbound my
coolest parts crackle in fire
seeping through fallen leaves about touch
affliction deeper than flesh
arranged in bundles like cigarettes in
cellophane see my silted blood run
with wanting you double
platelet adhesiveness of the diseased
armadillo tattered barrel of bands
snout-deep in hospital waste
armored articulate berry
juicing segments of self a fist
orange and glove
case of the bitter leather
times there were we stood in the ground
“dead unto” handfuls of dust
our lesions our lessons
rotted weave of face the waste
in troubled waters soul
a growling fish flayed
flee from me as from a lion
skin-built filthy sexed
fruit swinging my crown from thorns
meat of my soles rotting holes
eyebrow-fallen punished and picked
to petal in this vessel of skin dog-tongued
seacoasted yellow-crossed clapper-and-belled
morning from the lazar house
hear it: you are forewarned
love, this is my pealing