Charles Borkhuis


the attitudinal pen
is scratching another provisional plot
across my chest

I can almost read the future
backwards in the mirror

our bodies ooze like oil on glass
tell me isn’t the object of desire
to get truly lost

turning the corner we see
another couple dressed up
in our thoughts and skin

and suddenly we’re in their bodies
looking back at ourselves
horrified yet fascinated

by the possibility of having sex

maybe it was inevitable
that sooner or later

we should meet


take these lips
or are they yours

the hard and fast of it

dissolve or share the air

without knowing it
a thread is pulled taut

a grand theme quivers in the bow
how many years with the same head

balanced on the next syllable

I prefer to speak with quantum lips

as free-ranging fowl
pecking over possible worlds

where are the minutes in my face

I don’t remember the whole
moment or future past
the birth or death of it

in so many words


one is thrown
by certain coincidences

a mooning in the eyes let’s say
followed by a dairy cow falling out of a plane

one has these thoughts
they could be anyone’s at a given moment

call it le hazard
or spontaneous combustion
but I have the distinct impression of smoke
curling up my arms and legs

I was forced to use a whistle
to ward off the official handshake of redemption

of course when my face is removed
it will be easier to examine the abyss

just place my hands like this

so that I appear to be at home
in the unknowable

Charles Borkhuis is a poet and playwright living in NYC. His 7 books of poems include Disappearing Acts and Alpha Ruins, which was nominated for a W.C. Williams Book Award. Dead Ringer is forthcoming from BlazeVOX books. His 2 radio plays, aired over NPR, are on pennsound.
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