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from Corruptions

Akilah Oliver


Both of us so shy and I attracted to her translucence on display beneath chaotic knitted cap offsetting a deadpan sky, what passed for winter, a screen that made me want to go around saying “Dakota”, those clear consonants holding us dear


I have been loved by women before, some of who I’ve loved back.

I have loved women before this simmering  [it is not always an equation]


Should I wait, I should make time a pressing thing, Should I want, I should



She wrote me a picture that made a personal pronoun nascent

I wrote her a street in return, a green one with leafy things massing

Her mouth a wet and crawling thing I want in

My anticipatory field is not just any girl

She is many words before I may say an occasion

Having dinner with them was an almost pornographic experience

Has anyone seen my straw?

She eventually began to notate scripture

I learned to run, to gallop

So bright, it is hallucinatory in this room, fear breaking like distant bones

I’ve navigated this life, somehow on the run


Standing here as I am away from Ave A, styling a Kmart coat rabbit fur lined collar & my afro wig, [writing in pauses] trying to capture the text, the narrative in[of] the pauses, that silly tv on, making paralysis seem hip & the Absolut bottlers on strike


In recalling the details, I may have forgotten the particulars, of say, for example, rain


In situating the comedians as true, I may have foreclosed the narrowly attempted scat


In owning her causal lipsticks, I may have written too quickly a word canceling a form


May I imagine well enough to live forever as this gunner, as this diviner, at rest at this port


Shame is the lie, & its cousin, collusion, middling to fair.


May I want, again and, then, moisten the language.


Pull out of the closet, my shy mistress, Desire.




Negative limbs, approaching a light of a kind, deceptively, familiar but unreachable, the prettiest void.  Ahead of the game, stopping action at point of transference, or street as maze again limp light again faint hollow again shredded moon again witless beer again trace again fainter again limb again limbs limbs shadows of corporeal time again the car again the sweater again how the light shifts again digression again sharp acidic cry that is it a thing could signify my sentry at the gate again a thing must negate again mirror again suck again it a thing must signify the hand again outstretched lying creamy a sheet under it the blue like parchment crustaceous outer hand is outside of me it is a creature seeking its own impossible completion it is outside of me it is attached it is again again my double saying come here come here the imploding yes of course we die yes again again dead dead dead again dead again dead again an hour not lonely again against a kind of collapse, that is what it is, a kind of evasion the voice the broken fingers the story the voice the hand the story it is a new body part