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I Can Keep a Secret

Sally Van Doren

Can you? When you were
peering at my perineum
did it ever occur to you that
our improvisation might drape
itself over our curving backs,
letting loose a fibrous guillotine
designed to sever the distinction
between friend and lover? There,
sequestered in our truant tent,
you applied rouge to my hallucinations.
I woke up pink and conjugal.
What quantity of maelstrom
need we boycott? Or do I distort
the tattoo stenciled on my labia?
Your initials are transposed there.
There, suppressed under your
stampeding loin cloth. It’s
imperative we collide sooner
rather than later. Later this hiccup
will neutralize into last year’s down
jacket, hung in the back of the closet.
I fumble for it amongst the leather,
cashmere and wool. Why has it
puckered in the shoulders? I need
to hold something up against me, whether
this anthem or the cleft of your anus.

Sally Van Doren

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