Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-three
Winter 2013
Body 2.
Andrew Ruzkowski

Soft bone floats amniotic–
your body glows like a peeled orange, the pith shaved from skin:

not broken, not fragile.

There is a history here traced in spinning veins and fragments of the I, and the river we both drank from.

You unzip a song from your lips to remind me of the air

between us, something like the stratosphere in a ceiling fan.

There is a crack in your voice and it smells warm like the rain from last September.

In this half-city,

you retrace yourself and there is only one set
of collarbones here, one idea of home and one outline of your map
on my brain and it smells like warm light.

It is delicious these footsteps,

the way your hip is softening and damp, the way you speak to me in stilts and fabric.

How long has it been since you held my arm like a breath,


Have you learned to freeze yourself like an eggshell, membrane and all?

I remember the field where we both grew
up, the house in that field, and where it all fits together web-like in our landscape.

We both lie in separate domestics, foraging for something visceral or at least something we can taste, something that can
become my voice.

I look for a city in my mirrored face, find yesterday’s black snow, and try to write in my palm.

None of this is anything like the way I remember your sentences
or the way you told me:

                                                       do not give yourself lasting mercy in this night.

When this litany writes itself or copies

in echo and your veins collapse and a new space
evolves from the old field and you think
of tea and lemonade and the gin we stole,

please do not call me brother.

Although you won’t admit it, there is a biology at work here:
                                                                                                                         emptied, pressed, and endless.

I am convinced you are one accident mounting one on top of another.

There is nothing in the memory of you that collects
in the silence between our rooms or the salt in my blood.

When I sing in bursts and cup water in my hands and think of your sheets and breathe storms,

I am the body but not the head and it does not matter
who conceived us beneath each other’s arms.

About Andrew Ruzkowski

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