Everything enters the bloodstream, so if you say I love you, I can bleed it out. I can bleed it out. So, too, I can preen myself like a pelt with a svelte tongue that comes directly from your mouth. From your mouth, without a lid, I can fetch a susurrus like circling the maypole in a sweltering bloodletting self-erasure: my ribbon’s residue eddies into me, becomes me, a mutual seizing: I leave on it a sweat-stained paw print as I pant the parade around, pant the fray around. Excelsior as sonic prayer, I can detect the resonator through my over-heated husk and it feels serrated like a dry suckle, a dry spell, a dry dizzying bell. But such is deliverance. I’m a duet with the epidemic songanddance, its endemic trance, mnemonic seesaw teetering into intense trespass, this then that, the lightning crash of our highest tessitura, ever- forward, not back. Wilting, ultimately ululant when winced by the voltage of severance, mind from body, mind from body, pinched by a delirium, embodied and disgorged, hollow- boned and heavy, the delirium repeats its dire dictation as a bursting heat in the pit of the windpipe, a sore soaring in the cords, the rhythm broken, replaced with a heavy-handed thirst, a parchment, a terse displacement of tongue. Upon stopping, we go slick into the sickness of stillness. It doesn’t stop moving. Its nerves tingle like tethered stars caught in our head-jars and jilted, jangled, or like we’re full body soap-stung, bee-stung, or hack- strung by our own lack of breath. Vertigo goggles us. Letting go of the ribbon, letting go of the rhythm is like a limb gone missing: the hand sings, the hand sings, the hand sings for its other. A contagion, this blazon ring. As such, cessation should be a blessing, but after such brazen joy, our vital signs re-reify—we’re not gods—our former reign over ecstasy is revoked with a spittle-blond substance starching our throats, an operatic fever and inoperative shit-for-brains; we become vessels for incurable half-goat, float-inducing dream- states, self-racing the irrational. In one such hallucination, a small rabid animal—bulbous anonymous mammal, reduced to indistinguishable silhouette— meets its death in the profanely shaped half-cruciform crawl- space of a Victorian porch to the sound of continuous steps, caught foam- mouthed and unfurling in the cross arch, puzzled-frantic by the light through the latticework rather than the crisscrossed dark. Yes, it’s all dreck under the deck. No, you can’t play there. Mother to child. But the child is drawn to dark. You are drawn to the dark. Note to self: Nevermind. Currently, amidst the unevenness, there is no access to the self, it’s rerouted to a lark song sung by a vole or a hole in the heart in the head. Mad songs are all that make sense in malady, immured to the vacuum birth of nonsense, a nuanced nothingness measured, unmeasured, applauding its ever-apparent peals, and when the lure of intolerable melodies starts to heal in the blue of a blue hour, blue replaces black and you start to come back. * * * * * After mid-summer, I spend a week in bed. When I can get out of bed, I get out of bed. The world went further into summer while I slept, more terminal, tiring slightly of its more frilly pinks, yellows, greens and reds. In the open air, I stand a figurine for the wind to curate my skin, to be curried and weaned by the living beings it carries and excretes: its transmissions, spills, unspoolings: its miscellaneous missiles. The vista oozes sunbeams or a bloodbath, same thing in the crux of a thickspun heat spell, vision scalded by a boozy overlay of razzle dazzle, translucent sanguine and rose. In such a squint, it starts to feel like I can love again, erect a bouquet (the buzz-kill of buds), slap the bugs sucking the blood beneath my skin. I’m the gnat’s epicarp and consequent peach. All has gone-to-seed in me. My body starts to crave a counterpart, a link as arms-length as a maypole ribbon, a dart-point that draws you to the center of something moving—and you are moving with it, subservient, knave-diligent but necessary, a dressing of unclear wounds (which may or may not be yours), an addressing of the wound’s source (which may or may not be your specific body)—and round and round you go always risking the sentiment of insistence again and again and again, somewhere the circle begins and ends but to keep going is to extend the turning’s fixed point—it isn’t physics nor physiognomy— but the fear of flesh as polestar, end-all, appellation. I resist the roundness of my body’s landscape, like a lost package, a plump and placid stump, something too obvious to be proof. The escape is unopened. Blunt, it is always there. (Blunder: It is always where.) I am always here, but I don’t care: the stakes are higher than the formalities of a here. It’s always an elsewhere I’m aiming for, an egress quite alien in its element (non-periodic) wherein the stirring’s inferred, internal, turning outward. The premises are imprecise, likened liminal with ludicrous twirl. The intended flight is not an exodus terminal as taxidermy; but altogether, still it severs. The body doesn’t settle. Infectious urges make me plummet to the plight of a parasite that enters the bloodstream through a murky stream and untames, unleashes its bloom, squirms up to intoxicate the brain. Everything seen enters the blood- stream. Everything unseen enters the blood stream. Everything enters seemingly without shame. If I’m muddied, I’m muddied, my feet aren’t fully mine. It’s like putting a syringe of sugar water into me—there’s something of bitter sweetness to be gleaned in the prick, its purge and push-forth. The blood has no oath. The wet plume of vein accepts its slurry, its new birth. It has all the artifice of a simple recipe. But I’m changed. I’m not the same. I’m vagrant as a wound. What enters me makes me its surrogate meat. I’m buttoned by it. It embellishes me. I bleed because I bleed. I boast blood, keep going. All is nacreous-stricken on a nature walk when clouds and sun compete. It’s the only explanation I need. In the open slate, the clouds reincarnate continuously, cleanse their bodies of their bodies. I’m part of the implied feast, seen through heat sensors. In the new stupor, you acquiesce with your blessings, your bent alchemy, the lessening of daylight. In the open field, the promise of petrichor, a precipice. You can feel everything. In bold light, the freak air completes itself, becomes a kind of sub-light made visible with various tiers of dander and dust, specks of floss and fluff. Until chance-planted, they are ancillaries to nothing. They turn the breeze into their back- ground, their instrument of free-for-all and flight. The pollen gets stranded in the sealant of me; I’m its stranglehold. A beholden grave when inlaid, I’m not the yoke it needs. All it can bloom in me, if you please, is a cough, a sneeze, a stroke of bad undertuck in the nostrils. Lostwards, not lost. I walk and toss my touch on glossy objects. My fingertips are the stuff of poison when poised on the butterfly’s wings, the caterpillar’s till-like crochets, the petal’s half-bell. I sense a violation in their foreign breaths— or a browning—as if I emboss them with a chill, a tremble, an erupted must. What passes is tantamount to a breach of trust in the guise of a gust of blustery air. A resistance wordless, but inferred. When I pick up the feather, I do not detect the threat of an avian influenza. Nothing burrows in the fur of its flute. But I’m its fluke. Through touch, I become germ-absurd. Something transfers, something blurs. I pick up a feather and become something of the bird.