One member of the two lowest pairs of ribs,
which are attached
neither to the sternum
nor to the cartilage of other ribs.
The permanent elsewhere of
my hand goes to my side as I read.
A lie thrusts out into viscera, gestures
to untouchable bone.
private wish: to snap it free and brandish
—what? A burin? A blunderbuss?
making, unmaking. Lever
to press against my tongue, to bear me
through terrible convulsions. I will
of it a new body. I’ll hammer it to gravel.
The ribcage opens its book, one phrase
Variations on the Philtrum
The hollow that divides
the upper lip.
Before birth, the angel told a secret
to your mouth, and made the flesh around
Hushing you up, he pressed a weightless finger
on those naughty lips, denting the flesh above.
What can separate the odor of instinct
from hot expression but one concave length
of displaced meat more at
home in between
fingers or nestled behind distant ears?
A bare, sensible valley framed by winds
two northern caverns and a pit yawning
below. No seed stays, no sound hesitates
passing through a place of borrowed
In between sense and within sense
there lies a shallow grave dug out for all
one hopes you will be wise enough
to lay down, undisturbed, without a word.
A triangular anatomical region
anterior to the elbow joint.
Pack mule for
cradler of gunbutts,
-from The Diminishing House