Outside the body are signs the body lives

Across the ceiling an exodus
of bright green mold begins

the laborious journey, deserting
the anonymous darkness of high rafters

where bats sleep wet daylight hours away,
rocking in cartilage and velvet. You think

it's only a dream, drenched in cilantro
and monsoon; & you rinse your flushed

temples & cheeks with tap water, working
clear antibacterial soap over your fingers.

But given time, things learn the secret
of interstices: even the rind of an indifferent

orange contains so much scent; & fragments
of skin sleep in fingernail beds, prickling

to changes in temperature. Who is in every
mouthful of taste, in the slow simmer, 

in the indentation where two bones meet,
barely touching, at the base of the neck?

Whose face did moonlight retrace 
on the contours of your palm, so skin

could call back the lost syllables
of its name? & what is the name of this

equation, where on all sides risk
& fulfillment are interchangeable, where

they wrap their legs around each other
& kiss over the abyss, over the circle

of fire; the stain & trickle of sweat, 
the bead of salt, the fluid of sex,

the crust on bread & linens that
hardens after, refusing to forget? 


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