the art piece was
grotesque in its
simple presentation;
an ostentatious gift to
yourself as I fumbled
openly with decisions

and we moved right next to
a bar that was closed the
day I planned my relapse.
I wanted the burn of rum
mixed with lukewarm Coke.
maybe Mr. Boston’s.

it was a dark copper
and it stayed at the top of
the stairs.
I think I was under a deep dehydration.
I needed limits and
boundaries but I also needed to
tear the art piece off the wall
and file each side into a lithe
pocket knife that I could
wear around my neck
as a signal
of masculinity, but only I
I have taped one to each arm
as well and to each thigh,
and to each ankle
which is the joke about masculinity.
it’s supposed to contain
a dark wild feminine
but abhors any force.

the fourth wave is
more insidious.
I didn’t notice the change
at first but I did gaze up
at the top and wonder
what it’d be like to
leap to bottom step
and if you’d notice that first
or that a piece of
the sculpture was missing,
hidden somewhere else.

“the black book”

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