Reed Clovis G :: The Lack

K. tells me ‘Babe whatever / you have or pretend / to have I’ll suck
it’ / but I think she’s glad I’m just folding up socks in briefs
anyway nobody’s mouth is dry here / especially not / from cotton-poly blends
my mouth is / an ocean come / swimming; my fleet of Sorrys has been made /
so brittle from salt

//

you ought to know: all / oceans are transgender
exhibit A: that Pacific Partnership / exhibit B: all the flights we take

//

everybody tells me that everybody else / will believe me
I keep sticking out / my hand but I’m the only one shaking
(today’s Sorry: it will break apart any minute now / will break all over)

//

not once have I known what I look / like without borrowing / somebody
else’s eyes / my father’s for example / are ocean-glass (marbled
with rust from one teenage mishap beneath a salvage car)
my father still strokes the hair / I’ve cut off / I find his fingerprints
all over the picture frames lying face / down
all over the house which leaks / all over my body, salt water from the ceiling
no matter which room
I sleep / in when I’m not sleeping

//

I am fully / clothed in my lowest pitches / to hide the lack / K. tells me ‘No one
has to know you are lacking’ / tells me ‘Everyone else
will believe you’ / tells me ‘Here, I just folded your laundry: lots of clean socks
Now stop lacking / all over the bedspread’


additional work by reed clovis g can be found in the print version of issue 6