I start like a slow ticking clock, wound
by your thin fingers (notched
and bald), beveled
nails catching the hem of my hair,
my naked jaw, my trapped hands,
a winking pulse in the veridical circle
of your days.
You say I am accustomed to my cracked face:
all the distortions that seem real
are not. All the unwashed corners
of leaping periphery just
crooked lips thrown in spectrum
against my ruined history, while
I am curled like the spine of a cat
around the body of
your twinkling breath.