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Say Grace



The tissues crinkle before I touch them.


They spring and curl with the wretched sighs of a virgin

crying out for spit—

some taste of mouth to reconcile

the thrust of the new, the foreign

to a self-drafted intimacy.


It’s been so long since I last touched one.


Hovering my palm over the box

I feel the depths of its gallows

erupted open by the incessancy of being

and being again—

all things that make the pulse tremble

with shortfall.


When I lift one free

it looks up at me


a white sheet of horror—


and I quietly roll it into my pocket

and walk away.