“Ars Poetica” [1]

To be a poem
I would have to fold myself
I would first begin
a bending of the arm
a twisting of the wrist
then, after some strain,
the snapping of the ankle
the spaghetti noodle of each rib
pressing into a bend
pressing into an arc
pressing in two

one piece always flies off
into the distance

To be a poem
I would search and find
the string inside
pulling and stretching
tearing the root out from the socket
eventually asking for help
eventually asking for two
stronger hands
stronger arms

arms that could pull the thin
wet thread of a soul into something manageable

To be a poem
To set to work
to build a rope
stretch and fold
and stretch and fold
the endless return and return again
a soft snap
a cut
A tie a loop a slip knot

a lasso
a loop around the moon

To be a poem
I would have to sit on my couch
I would have to build up the nerve
the center of it all
resting within the swaying column of bone and electricity
finally finding the bravery,
I would pierce open my femoral artery
with the sharpened end of a No. 2 pencil;

To be a poem I would
watch, face growing pale,
as the contents of my body
were poured into a series of glass jars,

a series of glass jars,

a series of glass jars,

a series of glass jars,

a series of glass jars,

a series of glass jars,

separated by commas and copper lids,
separated by a squeeze and a finger;

To be a poem
I would sit back,

mortified,

mummified,

and watch as six-year-old
diluted me
sold me at their stands
for quarters on the nickel

Well, what would You do?

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