Featured Poem 3/11/04


It breathes just below your skin
because it can’t stand to be seen outside
where the kids on the carousel
point and laugh at its pale complexion.

It supports the forty-five stories below you
the steel I-beams and concrete bricks
iron mesh and rebar, but without form
it falls into itself, folding and twisting
within its own faceless attributes
a false façade whose only purpose
is to prop up the last book on the shelf:
Gnosticism for Dummies, distinguishing
the demiurge from the divine being.

It cautiously settles to the bottom
as the centrifuge slows to a halt
like platelets pooling in a white kidney
or jaundice from cirrhosis of the liver.

It is dissected by the neurologist
who decides the paradox is uneven,
that this statement is false,
and it continues to unravel.
The alchemist links it to the trinity,
to the salt, sulfur, and mercury
at the base of the elemental table
from which one can create gold
or perhaps a human limb.

Josh Liss

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