Incredulity of Thomas

Darin Ciccotelli

Don’t hamper me with close inspection,
the silt and shallow water in your eyes. Your eyes,
the movement of beetles. Obsess on hay.
Place on me your solitary, blind hands—
console no one. I am the ghost visage of a television,
which dissolves with a frizz, irritating
the memory for hours after—befuddlement
my kind of capture. Don’t bully me with
empathetic quizzes. Don’t regale me with
anecdotes, woe—the saddened, dying questions
that are like the stubbing out of a candle.
Handle me absently. The limpness of a sky that
cannot rain. Even caution will
chastise. Hide the caution from your hands.

If you are angry, if you are inured to love’s brittleness,
if in private swells you ache—all of the passions degraded
to one passion—at least give me this.
Be impolite to the wrinkled cloth.
Thumb your way in the punctured skin, its hood
a small snail. Recalcitrant, sleep-heavy snail.

I can’t apologize. I draw you close,
in further inspection of my dying. Disrobed,
whatever the opposite of prowess is.
Only this gash stays alarmed so that you
will inspect it. So that you will charge into it
with your hand, the minor prow—
the curiosity that becomes a kind of pain. The wound
is the best part of me, this throbbing
phallus. A kind of light a kind of heat that
attracts caterwauling flies. It is open, and the house smells
of burning cedar. The wound bringing men close,
inciting them to story. The wound my most
beautiful face, and all the rest exsanguinated,
blank. The wound my beauty.

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