Frigidarium

Navy blue in the hall.

Five and five doors

and blue navy rising,

rising under the underslots.

Five and five doors to ten rooms,

each with a girl in bed,

each with a girl sleeping.

Each with a yawning

window, each with a lamp,

doused. Each with a mirror.

 

.

The navy’s loud as wheezing. Ah aha.

Mountains climb beyond the window.

Ten and ten arms circling pillows,

not other bodies in their beds.

Ten and ten hands doused with sweat.

Girls solo, tucked into themselves.

Rooms drenched in exhales.

The navy sounds, their breasts.

On thermals, birds beyond windows.

 

.

A pug scrubs himself along carpet.

Room to room he marks,

spurts of darkness

under each underslot.

Girls’ cheeks pillow-creased,

ten girls ferning themselves.

Mouths open, awe.

To navy tongues.

 

.

Navy blue thick in the hall

as navy grackles, clotting. They hoist

their wings, gaw and fuffle

against each other, thick as piss

flooding under underslots.

The doors are slick with their cud and shit,

their tide under underslots.

 

.

Us girls now bathing.

Off the hall, five and five knobs

to ten rooms, each with a girl in tub.

Ten girls nailing mosquito bites,

scrubbing resin from ten and ten feet.

We sink into upside-down longing,

shave navy plumes off mounds.

The baths grow cold. We rise.

Our bodies rise to face mirrors.

Five and five mirrors,

twenty girls facing ourselves.

Five and five mirrors now,

twenty girls facing ourselves.

And through the walls

we face each other.

And through the walls

our backs to each other.

Aha. And in the mirror

twenty girls. Me?

Published online September 01 2011.


The Open Issue cover image

This piece was published in ‘The Open Issue,’ the Fall 2011 issue of CV2.

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