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You, Never-You, the new vessel.
Dark/light of the sprung soul.

Flung upward or shuddered
up-ringing, iridescent as a fountain:

eyes flickering wide open in sleep.
And on the kitchen sideboard

your old script pages, flipped over;
cut up into memo-pad size. If someone

jots a note, turns it over--
there are the words, dialogue of

people you once became or not.
Laura says she cannot command the

space station alone any longer; can't
he see this? Brent says he knows, he

knows what she has been going through.
I don't know what these words are for—

just as I know you will arrive no more
to counter this argument You may

have said these things aloud. You walked,
you lay once beside me. Albert says suddenly

from a paper square: "Vague. Cryptic. Enigmatic.
Ambiguous." Claude says, "How do you mean?"

I want to enter every semblance of you—
profile, ideogram, rainlight, zigzag kite,

shifting plinth. Even this comment
from Mohammed: "I should be going—

this is a private matter."Earlier; Frieda
has said, 'You're upsetting me, Ira."

Let me consider this private matter in anger,
in terror; in reverence. Voiceless, let me

consider a thumbprint, a top-sheet,
margin shout Here's Marc crying, "Bullshit

How can a man live in any other time but
his own?" At the tombstone, the fire pit,

at the anchor dragged brain-red over
consciousness, Yvan says, "I don't see why

I have to put up with your tantrums." In
this private matter; I refuse the lilac, the

anemone, all the lit banked candles.
Rachel says he's in the middle of nowhere,

without an alibi. Bring me no alibi.
Bring me instead one sprig, pale-white,

of your never-endlessness, one pulse-leap
inside the sick brilliant rose of your not-being.

Holden says, "That's my girl" Fire-rose, ash,
drawn petalled, unpetalled, along my wall of

solitude. You hover; eyelit, at falcon-height—
and Serge cries, "Read Seneca!" Laura is alone

in the space station, weeping. I am not weeping.
I am emptying the pockets of my own monologues.

I am listening to the semblances, what you were,
who you've been. 'You’re disastrously open-minded,"

a fragment says (it seems) to me, though I ask for
no feedback here in my space station, here in my former

life, where there is no gravity--or crushing gravity—
in my kitchen, my open mind. Where I
listen closely to no connections. To no you, David. No you.

-Carol Muske-Dukes


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