These dried-out paint brushes which fell from my lips have been
with your departure; they are such minute losses
compared with the light bulb gone from my brain, the sections
of chicken wire from my liver, the precise
silver hammers in my ankles which delicately banged and pointed
magnetically to you. Love has became unfamiliar

and plenty of time to tend the paint brushes now. Once
with my processes. Once removed
from that sizzling sun, the ego, to burn my poet shadow to the
wall, I pointed,
I suppose, only to your own losses
which made you hate that 200 pound fish called marriage. Precise
ly, I hate my life, hate its freedom, hate the sections

of fence stripped away, hate the time for endless painting, hate the
of my darkened brain that wait for children to snap on the light,
the unfamiliar
corridors of my heart with strangers running in them, shouting.
The precise
incisions in my hip to extract an image, a dripping pickaxe or
palmtree removed
and each day my paint brushes get softer and cleaner—better tools,
and losses
cease to mean loss. Beauty, to each eye, differently pointed.

I admire sign painters and carpenters. I like that black hand
up a drive-way whispering to me. “The Washingtons live in those
and I explain autobiographically that George Washington is
sympathetic to my losses;
His face or name is everywhere. No one is unfamiliar
with the American dollar, and since you’ve been removed
from my life I can think of nothing else. A precise

replacement for love can’t be found. But art and money are precise
ly for distraction. The stars popping out of my blood are pointed
nowhere. I have removed
my ankles so that I cannot travel. There are sections
of my brain growing teeth and unfamiliar
hands tie strings through my eyes. But there are losses

of the spirit like vanished bicycle tires and losses
of the body, like the whole bike, every precise
bearing, spoke, gear, even the unfamiliar
handbrakes vanished. I have pointed
myself in every direction, tried sections
of every map. It’s no use. The real body has been removed.

Removed by the ice tongs. If a puddle remains what losses
can those sections of glacier be? Perhaps a precise
count of drops will substitute the pointed mountain, far away,


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