KILLER WHALE JOURNAL OF POETRY

Denude

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You know
intuitively
by now
that the splayed mouth
of the last buttonhole
at the end of your shirt
runs horizontally
and this saves you time
unbuttoning

You know
since the first time you tried it
that the bottom
of the door
on the handle side
grates the floor
if you shut it
too slowly
and it soughs
and it scratches

The cast-iron handing-board
on the wall
above your bed post
in the shape
of a lumpy heart
has stuck there
crooked
cocked
for weeks
and you glower at it
and you bite your cheek

You read
the pockmarks
in the brick
on the walls
from the last stair
to the dressing table
so you stay
upright
when you’re pushed
and inching
backwards

You’ve known
for a while
that freckles
multiply
in the sun
and stipple
across the bridge
of your nose
like breadcrumbs
so you take off
your glasses

You curl your toes
in expectation
at the glop
of thunder
on your window
and the slurs
of dark
your heels
dig in

I’ve never heard
real quiet
not the kind
where things stop breathing
You said
I like
the caw
in your voice

++++++Jesse Friedman

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