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Scantily Clad Press, 2009


At night: An envelope. The back of an envelope. The words there: I asked you to. I wanted it. The edges of the envelope lit with a candle. Yellow tallow candle from the tallow-chandler. Someone must make it possible to see at night. Someone must make it possible to burn the proof. I hold it until I can not. Candles: a fire to get made; a fire, used. Egg sunk in the weak lye: fresh ashes should be dripped. Perfect: an egg disappeared but a fingernail piece of its surface remain. Blown-out the wick is black. In sleep the fat hardens. The night is dark as ash – in the ash-dark dark, ash goes unseen. A rifle to make a candle. A wicking board. I asked you to.


At night: Some words: more obvious than in the light; in the dark, as in the cold, a man is just a train. White words, the marker of distance. White, the mouth in moonlight. White, the teeth & the tongue that tell you this story. This mouth no longer satisfies you. Pull it off. Beneath the mouth is another mouth. Love: love is full of mouths, endless mouths. There is no end to the mouths of love. That is what I should have told you.


At night: All want & make: green branch in fists against these upper teeth -- lean that holds me open. Sawing, to down the stick; sawing the motion of him; sawing even the breathing over my mouth even & inside; against cry against bite down. What was not tender.


At night: A light comes on: we marveled. A hand in its middle makes a mark like we thought only a mouth could, palm-cup a suction enough; every blooded spot: star: skin-sky the color of sun shining on night: light. Palm to jaw – he knows I can’t look. A thumbline. A mark in the flesh. Another finger in the mouth. I’m thinking of up. See: the sky moves.


At night: A man is a black circle in the dark. Toy well, the hanging bucket. Feet first I will carry you this wet dress that sinks you. A man is a black ghost at night. Call him. O he turn around & silent; O he’ll not turn around. You call you sing out yr throat he’s where you want him to be. What I got: two black circles: a snow-fall face. These eyes, the deal, the mark there.


At night: you dig up a boat, a paper boat & float to where you can dig up an alligator, an alligator with your baby in his stomach, a paper baby in a paper alligator & you lay down on both of them & this is called sleep.


At night: a woman who covers the mirrors has an idea like a pin shining at the bottom of her heart: for I shall have new black ones. All she can think is all the round water returns a round moon: cup drop puddle pond but ocean & it pin-line there the light she would lift like currency a coin to sink her aim. This man of blood is merely reflection: something else. Eye-shine she shy from the glass unbearable silvering she dark her lips & her fence of teeth.

Help me to put on my ear-rings; but I shall not wear them very much longer. The way you drown a man—here, in your mouth.


At night: by breath: this is no measure. By this I say yes. Precious did he say, or priceless: your breathing in. I am forgetting something. The sky slides – five & anew, see, fourty-seven & never as it’s been. Who watched me sleep, yes, I was trying & so shallow breathe & who delighted at it

you breathing in like that the stillness. A motion omitted mistook for simplicity. Haven’t you lost count. It can not be this again. Breath to fingers, it takes eight long to slide away the strap. What of the two idle. One: I can pull my shirt above my head. Two: I can place it on the floor. What of the still spinning outside. The sky doesn’t mind. That’s what it means that it goes. That’s what it means that it comes back again. Lie down. The floor does not bend or stain not like the rotten grass & its mark.


The thing I am examining is so small I must close my eyes. Who said the breath out of me,

breathe. Who put your hand here till I make the sound I had forgotten: me.

not breathing no more. Yes,


At night: above the town moon a candle over a map lit, the streets, animal pounding woods-shape stick cut for the center you smell her so I trail you from above fire where the blade meant-for I am going to have her hear me carnelian bead up inside she knows not & grow it there a sickness have you out to have you back


At night: I sit out of the rain but the rain touches my feet. It is this way with everything. The finger points the wrong way. Here is half a gourd & we will drink from it together. This is a wedding. The veil is not a veil, but a sheet, a screen. Take me over. The veil is netting. I am enticing you back into your body with water & a sweet leaf. I am enticing you back into my body with the sound of my mouth, close, back down from the close ceiling. What is lifted with a thorn is cut with a blade. I rub ash into the blood. Before this I was terrified. Now he will take me home.


At night: the remedy between us and you— everlasting covenant of salt which is in order to sweeten your mouths and jaws which it is supposed it ought to do on one of these two nights: Lo this shall be to you the sacrifice of a soul in substitution for a soul.


At night: A jade warbler is placed among the rest, without hunger, & when they sleep it is hard to remember which is stone. Every bird makes a map in its eye, but only this one shines matchlit. For eggs it lays tiny pearl buttons the children steal & give as love-favours. Keep asking me if this is the little pretty I want: no. No not unless it’s a bird with an arrow axis, no not unless it’s a second in the air unheld.


At night: Draw the line up the back of my leg; I will don the shoe & Ready. Move back. Yr own distance fools you. The line: here you can not pass. Here is nothing to be mended. These legs will be minarets/upright the mattress. The sound that will bring you: tell me. He said care of not carry O


At night: only: dimming. This is possible. Fan of feathers a clue to nothing. I tear down into the ground. Open over open: let me breathe for you/I am holding my breath. An empty thing can not reflect light. There is nothing to see. That is why it's dark. In the raid we turned

out every pot of water & every vase. We cut the candles at their base & some bled out as a precaution. She a tongue full of needles between the teeth her word is blood. Wax: wronged. Nothing hurts. That is why it is dark. A light makes a hole in the dark so I can make a dark hole in the light. This is how a shadow works. I make a shape with my hand.


At night: The weight of a man sinks me towards him while I sleep. He makes a word with each of his knuckles: fold. When I say suffered I mean allowed to.

O ship, the lineage of your woods & your name is useless. A man [ ] are like a brick [ ] happy anywhere.


At night: There is bruise & bit & a light turned off, the light, the same stars every time, stop fighting this, a light left on, there is someone straddling the counter, someone else straddling the counter, don’t take it off until I call & what good would it do now to break your fingers, there is your hand on my neck & your hand on my neck & your hand over my nose & mouth & you sing about it like it was yours. There is only my two fingers in your open mouth never happened you get our hands confused I want to hide my hands I want to half my everything I cut my hair there would be more to this if there were more to this.


Lisa Ciccarello received her MFA from the University of Arizona where she was a poetry editor at the Sonora Review. She now lives the writing life in Portland, OR. Her poems have appeared in Glitterpony, elimae, & Thirteen Myna Birds & are forthcoming from Anti-, Mud Luscious & Robot Melon.

"At night:" by Lisa Ciccarello  

A Scantily Clad Press E-chap

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