Academic journal article Chicago Review

One Red Lip

Academic journal article Chicago Review

One Red Lip

Article excerpt

One Red Lip

Not enough skin

to cover her face, said Chekhow: in order

to open her mouth she had

to shut her eyes, and vice

versa.

Gusey's body flew off shipboard

into the cloudy sea.

Prompt shark,

bad angel,

Valery.

O my fathers, must a pain reside

in tenderness?

root at the tooth

of passion? Must one have a heart of winter

just to look, and not to see?

I was an aesthetician, went

to school for it, but was

not cured. Instead,

shagged with fire,

I was blind,

bound

from the fold to the rack.

O shackmates, you made me

a palace of embraces: places

to be. Arriere-arriviste,

lapper at the heels

of fraternizable

eternities, I'd settle in a flash. Off with

his bodkin, up

with her chemise, and oh

the babies were all appetite

for opportunity, were

toddlers, teeners, twenty-niners,

looker-takers: pennies pouring from their eyes;

nickels from their knuckled fists,

diming, dollaring, goldening along. …

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