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The art of percussion.

Your image fades a little more each year. We could remember your face exactly once, the way you smiled, your crooked teeth. We had your posture, your smell, the sound of your voice committed to memory. But you are almost completely gone now. We have to struggle just to summon back a vague impression of you, a shadowy outline of the way you were. All day long, we haul equipment up and down the stairs. It gets heavier and heavier and eventually we can't even budge it. Others replace us, easily lifting it and racing up the stairs. We don't even care. It's not the kind of thing that matters to us. We were unable to reach you because of the rough seas. Young women with beautiful white breasts are dressed up in blue kimonos frolicking by the misty lake under a fluid swirl of moonlight. But our bodies have become fishlike and we do nothing but wash and dress in the cramped room. We hear you on the other side of the wall, laughing and talking. In the hallways, we smell the awful food you cook. How we wish you would move somewhere else. Our masculine desires are released in a swoon of seductive ideology. We remember you as a form of subliminal advertising, your sexualized disappearances undermining your furious version of love. We have gotten so tired now, riding around all day in a filthy taxi, always wondering what the fare to the airport will be. And always, every night, we return again to the worship of a higher life through the dark avenues of pleasure.
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Author:Winch, Terence
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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