Veil Of

Between my body & my sister’s body |which is buried|
a series of machines signify approximate stages of being;

her being & mine asserted, ascertained, by power-dependent
proctors, compulsory reckonings of pulse, respiration, & serum.

When weren’t we bound to our machines?

Call it love—how my repose & hers depended on another’s
devoted wakefulness—why my box still resides by my body

& her body lay in her box. I believe all will be well, expect
to be told it is so. There, a mirror empty of breath where once

I felt density of another in the room. Most fundamental other—

who made me my most whole and hollowed; made me hoard
my blood and give it. How irreconcilable, my being and hers

contingent on what the body could say. What could the body
say that wasn’t reproduced by its being there?


Questions During Protest Are Rhetorical

and involve ownership:
he possesses every thing:

his own body and mine; gives

contact. Gives fill-ins for me to say “yes,

yours, yes.” Exactly. Say, “I am an offering,”
which is my unwinding, which is where—

plat after dampened plat—I disband. Ordinary
questions carousel my wrists and ankles. I name

often my parts to clarify the object my body.



1) Desire the poet disclose [what she will not say.]
2) Crowd the stage by which she will give herself away.
3) Desire more than your fair share.
4) Remove blockades between your body and the poet’s body.
5) Arrive against a wall.
6) Settle. Settle down. Accept that your want yields suffering.
7) Tell yourself stories the poet would tell were she giving.
8) If “giving” is the want to pour forth then what a disappointment.
9) What role do you play in your own suffering?
10) Go now, tell yourself a story:
11) Are you an experienced storyteller?
10) Some poets require you to be deeply imaginative.
11) You call on her generosity.
12) Are you telling yourself a story?
13) —what is brutality anyway?
14) You want to shed her skin.
15) You want behind the lyric muzzle.


CM Burroughs

Issue 16 • Fall 2015