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Marie Landau



              for Mason

when you are in my hands
finger-sparking weight
of you

when you climb
over the small hill
of me smiling

if I could carve
the smile
into my eyelids

when Creeley said he’d split
the head of his lover
and place a candle behind the eyes

he was not speaking metaphorically

the mouth
the eyes
the teeth
the rise

of bodies

their ideas
some weight we measure
with our hands






Explosive ideas come of a sudden with your voice. I did indeed forget to say: More please whenever please. (You need some pleasure pain pleasure, don’t you?) 

I might send you a text tomorrow; I might nap instead. I might work on you. I might take you off the island of eternal return. I might tell you to stand by a window. The window might be on the second floor. I might tell you to be naked. I might tell you you have to watch. This is your constraint.

You are really nice to speak with (after the fight, that is). Your care is calming. You hide well in conspicuous places. Your shoulders are ski slopes. You can drive a car with your feet. You showed me in a parking lot.

I think to myself it is okay for things to be difficult. I think that you are fine. I think your skin is the skim from a fond I would serve you with steak. I think you should not eat that oyster. I think your scent is something I would like to taste—not your smell, your scent. I think I will ask for her blessing—or permission.

Why should I ignore this? Why should I try to change it? Why should I make you less interested? I should cherish what we have. Though you are torn. Though we are often confused. And have no interest. And don’t feel the intensity. 

That I am ill    That I am ill    That I am—    why would you want to carry on with a dead end?

I thought I could push you away. But I am not done working on you. Not by a long shot.

p.s. I hope you got the chance to throw up. It makes the whole ordeal less obvious. 





Marie Landau is an editor at the University of New Mexico Press and a member of Dirt City, an Albuquerque-based literary collective. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Litbreak, Gnarled OakRed Paint Hill Poetry JournalYellow Chair Review, SOFTBLOW, and elsewhere.