These most perfect young men
with a few anomalies: conjoined
fetuses, cancerous lungs, women.
Skinless, fresh lipstick muscles,
they pose on white plinths, still only
reach my chin. Fake eyeballs, no lids.
On the women, eyelashes
glued to the occiput of skull.
Red blood furtively shunted
to red plastic in their veins.
Motionless warriors - the emperor’s army,
positions originate with four cardinal directions.
Whorled intestinal galaxy, dense
fractal vessels of the kidney.
Naked supermarket meat, covered
with tiny veils of Latin names,
like passages from Ovid you knew were dirty
because they were not translated.
Ruched intestines, netted
lace of arteries, nerves raveled
off rigid knitting needle tendons.
Loom harness - craftswoman weaving up
butcher honing down, by the pound.
Drumbeat of meat, drumstick, thick
slab stone bones, nodes. Read them
as blasphemy, as every poem written –
about, but not the thing itself.
I slide my eyes across this one’s shoulders,
serenade the lute-cords of his biceps,
read the iliopsoas from right to left,
unrolled like an ancient scroll.
Lean, and cold a teasing strip.
They perceived they were naked, but
dropped the half-made garments,
thorn needles and sinew, and stood.