The first time I saw you you were twice your natural size. Double-fisting Roman candles. Non sunt in coeli quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk you were screaming. Wonky-eyed.


          I have always had the power to elicit belief. Veritable rainmaker. Turn to p.93 to learn if you survive.


          Your body was fit for publication. Together we murdered a janitor. Together we renamed minor constellations. I'm kidding I swear.


          I just called you again. No answer.

          On multiple occasions. What the multiple occasions. Abstract: boy meets girl and falls asleep. From feminine of kritikos. A habit-forming silence. What have you done with your hair. You were my first fistula. Eminently pregnable adagio. Forgive me. Repeatedly. Retrospectively

           one senses the presence of the critic: at ballgames, bonfires, the one-story library. The saturnine beauty of sensing retrospectively. It too is lost on me.


          Do you have caller ID.


           Abstract: the moon moves through the birch pavilions. The body fills out its forms. A ceiling held together only by pressure. An uneventful life cut short by its lone event. Unwanted discharge. I decline.


           Intended for publication. Intended for wild commercial success. Intended to bruise a floating rib.


          Does one forgive the critic. The critic who cubes the jellied milk. Whose diet consists of marrow squash. Greek kleitoridos. Genitive of kleitoris. The critic by definition cannot forgive.


            I too have a flatbed. Am he of the flat affect. Credibility gap. Spatial disorder. Of little faith. O Parthenogenesis

            you were screaming maculata you were screaming.

          Victims indexed by occupation. The novel organized around a bonfire. Ianitor, doorkeeper, from ianua, door, from ianus, archway. Cold-blooded criticism. Phlebotomizing philologist. We beat him unreadable.

          I swear on my mother that I'm kidding.

          Acknowledge the utter impotence of our medium. We are none of us Russian. Old novelties. Never again say never again.

          A hymn of irregular meter sung after the gradual. The critic is the only character. The critic dressed in the informal you, you

         of the flat affect. Of the aposematic coloration. The 4-6 inch faith.

           I had a breakthrough: I fell asleep. For the first time I saw you as if for the first time. All tissue suddenly erectile. O my critic. Cymose inflorescences of stars. Stars and starlight identical. But this was years ago. When stars were mentionable. Before the line went dead.