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Lucile Barker


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Your body some dark nights
under my cold hands seems
like white clay; you slide through
the nights; not noticing
my fingerprints or the
lint from the sheets clinging.

Your body some warm nights
rubs off chalky on my
fingernails; I see you
as cliffs eroding in
the damp night air and the
fogs against you singing.

Your body some cold nights
is stone against all my
force; you are a statue
with a beating heart;
an iceberg; my kisses
like a chisel ringing.

Alien Cyclist

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I see him while I am parked in the car.
A man, obviously poor, ratty coat,
And duct tape over his lips
Crossing onto the unshaven chin and cheeks.
It sits squarely on his face,
This silver square.
He rides as if the wheels of his bike are rectangular
In the rain near the beach.
I must be hallucinating.
I tell a friend.
Oh, I saw him about a week ago,
I am told.
He was walking close to your place.
And what would induce anyone to do this?
Is this to induce silence,
Perhaps a throat condition where speech
Is more painful than the idea of the tape removal?
Warts on the lips from kissing a frog princess,
My friend suggests.
Even the television doctors say that will work on warts.
Great, cosmetic surgery by Canadian Tire and Home Hardware.
Maybe he can't afford a real foil hat,
I laugh.
He got cut and won't go to the hospital.
The tape is holding his face together.
We think of the possible infection.
The duct tape diet,
I suggest,
But he is already emaciated.
Maybe the tape is to prevent radio waves
From hitting his fillings.
It stops the reception and keeps him sane.
But no one sane would do that to themselves.
He's not sane.
Don't go near him, another friend advises.
You can hide a home made shiv
In tape like that.
I remember the charred lips of the man whose
Shock therapy was done wrong,
The smell of the flesh on the locked wing.
What evidence is under there?
I dream a duct taped saint's face,
Bicycle spokes radiating into a silver rimmed halo.
Lightening strikes him again and again.

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