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Don’t tell me that I have a problem. I am the problem. I’m out on the river holding a bouquet of smoke, my hair done up with nails like Saint Sebastian. I’m aiming the boat for the nuclear lagoon, for its genetic amphitheater and the flurry of the obsidian seahorses making the water roil like poisonous commas. I go down, into the cabin, toward the bloody shank of bone on the fold-out table, its ruddiness washing against the portholes. My small breasts aching, a wishbone between my thighs. You think it’s better out there on the highways, with their wedding veils of diesel, the 24-hour fluorescent abattoirs, the trucks with their jars of livers and spleens sealed with honey and lightning. You’re wrong. Open me up and see that innards of the Packard that was a mortuary for moonshine, complicated by divers parts and alarums. Give it over. Your sock of pennies, your cosh, your nightjack, the slip of diction that tells me I am for you, you goon, you cataract, you trickling thing.

Simeon Berry is the author of Ampersand Revisited (Fence Books) and Monograph (University of Georgia Press).

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