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We, As Other People


We’ve been very happy in the small open area

we named alter. When we lay down

it is a fragile offering, ellipses of arms,

galaxies of fox-light hairs, moving,

a division between tremble and bristle.


This is what other people do in the dark.


Sometimes, they let light in and the scene

shifts. There are occasions for fire,

kindling as mirror, candles, too, for them-

bodies without growing dis-ease, anchored

to luck, devouring wishless time. Others

are fragrant with each other, bits

of raspberries wait on their tongues.


Not us. Ours is the thumbtack mapping

where in my body the image darkens, where

under inverted triangles of breast meeting breast

the roundness grows cloudy. We live, devour

by recent scans, which we will continue

to hang here, this museum of us, until alter

becomes shrine, becomes definition for a new

lover. Here were other people, who were us, before you.


Kelli Allen

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