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 5     SUBMIT

from The Tooth Fairy

Charles Borkhuis

pitch black out
worms walking the night air
meaning's little minute hand
keeps stroking my face
licking closed lids
a counterfeit truth
leading knowledge
around on a leash

act on what...
the vivisection
the sawing of the cage
the pulling back of the ribs
the great void inside
filled with nameless others

am I not going backwards
and forwards in the same breath
who answers in me
but an utter stranger

who is the not-I that speaks
in my place

invisible blood


a bald biker with an eye patch
blows smoke in my face
"buy you a beer"
I can see myself
in his stainless steel teeth

a hot number leans over
when I'm not looking and sticks
a needle in my arm

"join the par-ty in twelve thir-ty"


hand over memory
and ankle deep in warm ripples
a piece of sky replaces the bridge
of my nose in the mirror

map drawn across my face
the swollen hills roll under eyelid traces

anyone could take the place
of anyone else now


I'm turning into a woman
or a corpse
the photo has my name attached
but it's peeling off like dead skin

words flap
between the rooms
what they are saying
doesn't apply to me
but who can be sure

the dead have never left
the living are not convinced
they are alive

the mirror has made me
into someone else
they have painted lips on my face
and shadowed my eyes
I am being prepared
for a journey




 
 
 
These poems appear in Borkhuis' most recent book, After Image (Chax Press, 2007)