from last week’s new yorker

August 5, 2010


by Alice FultonAUGUST 2, 2010


It’s just me throwing myself at you,

romance as usual, us times us,


not lust but moxibustion,

a substance burning close


to the body as possible

without risk of immolation.


Nearness without contact

causes numbness. Analgesia.


Pins and needles. As the snugness

of the surgeon’s glove causes hand fatigue.


At least this procedure

requires no swag or goody bags,


stuff bestowed upon the stars

at their luxe functions.


There’s no dress code,

though leg irons


are always appropriate.

And if anyone says what the hell


are you wearing in Esperanto—

Kion diable vi portas?—


tell them anguish

is the universal language.


Stars turn to train wrecks

and my heart goes out,


admirers gush. Ground to a velvet!

But never mind the downside,


mon semblable, mon crush.

Love is just the retaliation of light.


It is so profligate, you know,

so rich with rush.

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