Portrait Species

There are not too many of them,
but you can recognize them, if
you were burnt.

Their features are sharp and they possess
the precision of an acupuncturist.

They often have a dry mouth, bleed easily,
stop abruptly, walk fast, get fevers, but

even then they can sting with a slender
skillful tongue. They carry burns and wounds

in unexpected places and they can change them
at their whim. If you get too close

you can sense their magnetic undulation
and you will want more and more.

They give it to you until
you are taken, or they think you are,

and then they don’t let you go.
It’s not that they want to control you,

they strive to dissolve you in the space,
surrounding them and then you become

a matter to feed on, an air to breathe and
a rug to claw on.

Remember that they are very self-contained
and can go on without a substrate, self-perpetuating,

for years and would not notice that you are
not there. But once you get into the field

you become an object, made to submit yourself,
to surmise, serve your function, to admire

and reiterate your devotion. And once they get it,
they can recline for a while, but even when reposed

they still master their craft, and being so good with words,
with every sound they can pierce you.

Every sound is a piercing arrow, reaching
for your liver, heart, and staying there

encapsulated, serving one purpose—to mark you.
Then you can be spotted by another one:

also charming, vibrant, attracting you
by a seeming sensibility and openness,

open to engulf and lull you
into another pain.

Writer’s Notes, 5/30/06

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