APASSIONATO

by philip metres

 

 

Don’t mistake his

            leaning back

for swooning—

 

            he offers himself

the privilege

            of being

 

played—

             the pleasure

of another

 

            paying him

with playing—

            still he has

 

no head and arms

            so she must be

the head & arms—

 

            she worries the strings

to set his voice

            to tremble—as if

 

she’s drawn

            to draw

back & forth

 

            along his body—

as if she were

            the instrument

 

of the song

            & not him—

O frantic marionette—

 

alive as long as he’s

            held & pulled—

plucked & stroked—

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