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notifyingly you swanned red and then

Arianne Zwartjes

                            —after jenny saville

the acquitted greens of her breasts, nipples appraising the day.
quiet hammer of the elbow, the navel knit together.

given the possible ways skin can lacerate. the grafting of skin
onto bloodied stumps. or the way the penis hangs

lightly below the breasts. a gladdening of paint
on the wide open belly, a quarrel of color & shadow.

          bodies can do the impossible. take elephantiasis for example.
          (massive enlargement) (legs and external genitals) (minute wormlike parasites
          in the blood)

cheeks grow slowly into the shoulder,
hands melt into the tissue of the stomach.

are we still the same person when the flesh of the face is peeled away.

chest sparring with neck, breasts overlaid. a bead of sweat
on the lip. or the man with the beard and the breasts (this could be you).

take, the silent glide of thighs, ears, the encrusting of toes
upon the floor. searing trajectory towards change.

          a body between genders. floating that is not fixed. (all marking is done
          with the patient in a standing position) (an estimated amount of tissue to
          be removed)

a notification of red, crimson on the last edge.
soon cracks will appear all throughout your voice.

the line of the belly pauses only marginally. when shana started t.
he sounded sick for months and months,

was a different text to anyone. now the story’s
more immutable. less room for elusive green.

he was smoothcheeks when we sat at a small table on the sidewalk,
sun heating us like bricks. now he is squarejaw. he is

wrists and tenor. a skin of blue built up, clouds itself on the edge.
an easy slide. we coagulate in the viewing, as though something

had just made sense. to think of you passing
is to imbed ice blocks below the skin of the forearms.

a vaunting of cheekbone, laved blue
in the opening of the evening. praise searing.

Arianne Zwartjes

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