Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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the doorkeeper’s feet are seven armlengths long (fragment 110)

the doorkeeper’s feet are seven armlengths long
and present a formidable obstacle
to getting deep inside you.
I beat a tattoo
on the phalanges first. this is the only sound
in our kingdom
and it’s like rain dripping on a tin roof.
but the doorkeeper budges only
slightly from his torpor,
like he’s been stung by a small, perseverant wasp.
the hallux of one foot quivers then stills.
I attack from the side, scrambling over
the cascade of metatarsal bones, certain I’ll
find an avenue between these massive insteps.
but there is no crack for even light to crawl through
—the door is indeed kept—
and so, I call,
can you hear me?
all I hear in response is a grey boom like a foghorn
you’re a whale rolling back and forth in
restless slumber.  end

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