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Kevin Clay


Contracts of affection

might be compacts of depravity. One

is not unlike the other.

The house you rule. The horse you ride.

The whore of your convenience.

            Moonlit clouds beyond

            my bedroom window, obese

            with possibility. God damn you.

It all comes off. Piece by

piece. Articles of clothing. Articles

in Ladies Home Journal. Imperfect accounting,

accounts received. Closed out.

A dead number. The ATM won’t take my card.

I’m sucked dry.

            Nude figures in a still garden.

            The same moon. Some flowers

            do open in the night. Music.

            A waltz between kisses. God damn you.

Increments of affection. struck off

in decrements of abuse. A buyout,

leveraged of that mutual fund, that

pays in diminishing per cent. It all

comes off. Not so special a delivery,

moistened with limber tongue.

            Remembrances of breasts and thighs

            and slick, sweet entries, in that column.

            And an axe slices cleanly the stem

            of a rose. Imperfect erasures

            gloss the theft. We are a palimpsest, geologic.

            God damn you.

Bubbles do burst. Discounting resistance,

objects of unlike weight do fall

at identical velocity. Economics

is not an exact science.

            God damn your perfume.

            God damn my readiness for more.