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The sickened flesh grown too aware of itself. Limbs touching limbs. Teeth grinding inside a closed mouth.

Proximity has everything to do with love: I become your face daily a new face. When we walk, the dog seems large or small. My mother mails me a packet of powdered broth.

No words for anything, not even when I was small, on the bench, overshadowed by eaves, pressing my back into the wall of my father’s house. I wanted no one to look at me closely, my body, my face covered before the glory that was always there, glinting. I knew but didn’t know what to call everything I knew what I wanted but was unable to say.

What actually survives the possibility, or impossibility of speaking. Late summer pollen between porch boards.

I heat water. I drink the broth. Would that I had a past within me, I would possess all tomorrows. Born in the shadow of a paper mill, I grew up there in the sulfur, billowing.