3 To X. Your shadow goes out at night -- you would not claim it as your own -- The ghost among the breathing, touching, flaming bodies; The unholy ghost Peeping into the holes of flesh; A cloud that collects the electricity of wet and raw Appeal and yearning -- many-faced and many-limbed, composing Whatever face fits your whim today, With pale skin not yet burnt By heat, external or internal, elongated legs not yet Shortened, Thinned wrists tied up together with a thickened rope, And eyes oblong to make it hard to close them. It descends on The lower East Side, lips lower, lower, smoothening the rough And disproportionate forms of the day (a new appearance For every day, maybe -- every hour) -- The locust of your lust -- When through jammed pajamas, deflowered blankets, Through the snoring jargon of your pouchy-puffy-pouting spouse Through your own skin more thick, wrought and worn out than bed-sheets, Slinking -- You touch yourself.


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Collected Poems