1. could it it could could it it could could it it could go on forever this way that’s not true it could go on forever this way even if which it shouldn’t it should not cling film a voice gets all over itself its offered embrace it offers its spleen and embrace that the year may never begin. that the year, a body both master and pet, a year, the body-mastery, a pet name, project intended and intended. oh my garden! I played a trick on you told you you should grow that you were asked for that you asked for this dedicatory epistle: dear you, it’s I, your dreadfulest, dear friends you’ll find my face even if I should have to remove it leave it streaming at your feet, even if I should rub it against your eyes away could it it could could it it could father be yours 2. my my my when I fell I fell for your latex syntax and tax proposal you were a sugar you were like you could like you could value nothing nor value a cock like a sugar a cock like a spade dig it yes daddy I do 3. I was you said of very little use and small powers, arcing deflected surf-light. I touched nothing. So desire: a corpse in the drain, beyond blame, discoloring rain.
4. The drag of history felt as guilt as debt gelds flight. A gilded doubt is history as debt is guilt and a drag. Historically doubt as a dab of gall is a gilded dildo, As history is guilt and the gall all of it. 5. Picture the moments before you wake. Tunnels cramped and drawn, corrected bones, the battery light of expectation. One theory of pain is it’s obvious, obviates theory, as in you’re in it or you’re not. Imagine a pain. Wake in imagined pain, in imagery: damp light, centimeters of birds dredging blues. What's a reason to move? Pain is, if moving might remove it. It may, you do, maybe. How well do you care for yourself? If you were a dog, how would you judge the master which is you? Poorly I am afraid. Imagine eating. Imagine being eaten: that the matter with you be converted into energy, into continuing life. That is the theory, the hope of being eaten. That much is obvious. Seeing scar tissue you guess at the wound. 6. A word is a wound on time. Grief, a pleat. It eats light abdicates and festers: the poem. I tell you: The birch burst like wheel spokes through a snowed-in closeness. Impossibility sees I am like this to you that I would like to be like this to you 7. Under you now I am leaden and heavy and everyone wants my money. My money is not enough money. What little there is I spend unwisely. I a debtor am and walk with a debtor’s signature gait, extending his guaranteed hand: Prussian blue PVCA. I make silence in my free time of varied density and weight though to write also is faulty accounting. We’re mortgaged by words which extend themselves not in a gesture of faith, but because they know in heaven all bills get paid. Someone would eat your pain I say though I say neither I nor pay. The year the body never began I told you forever it could go on this way. 8. In conclusion it’s not my job to make anyone feel worse about things. Everyone has their own portion of fear and grief to tend without being dumped on by me. It may be you are a person to whom the wealth of life is obvious, a person who appreciates. It may be you say I trust I will have had been such. 9. Under you the ledger shut and let me not evade you Under you the sugar stirs my hand and let me not by grace evade you Under you the streets continue and let me not by grace alone continue to evade you Under you the reengineered eye of let me not evade Under you staying watered collecting waste in small bags Seconds before we emerge from the tunnel, a man to my right crosses himself. We are vaulted suddenly onto a bridge, the skyline extending like a tape measure from its casing. I study first the northbound view and then the south, wondering which if either has the future hid in it.
Under you—could it—Yours,—could it—and saying not one word of my love
James Loop is a poet living in New York City. His work has appeared in Brooklyn Rail, Lambda Literary, Prelude, and elsewhere.