Five-Minute Exposure, Large Format
The moon comes up like an almond
And down like an orange.
It wasn't the moon, but the mountain.
The moonfish has a face that ends
In a healing. Your hands pass
Over the gash and all at once
There is singing. At thirty-five,
I was laid out by an ex-communicated priest.
His hands felt like a firewalk
On a hot afternoon. The priest
Was a drunkard, but what did it matter?
The face of the moonfish
Slashes through the sky. The clouds open,
The light dances, angling in from the playa.
No one knows where the shadows
Come from. It's a mystery, like the hands
Of the priest, like the almonds that slip
From the blood orange of the night.
When his hands touched my forehead
I fell to the floor. I had asked to feel
What my lover felt—she who was
Opened by a surgeon's knife,
By the touch of a rapist when only
A child. Why should I feel what she
Wished to forget? I asked to know empathy.
I fell into a swoon and landed curled
On the floor. When she woke
From anesthesia, I gently stroked her
Forehead. The first words she spoke
Were "No, please don't."
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