not yet ready
shivering in this
touching the not-real
snow of his body
to bring its edges
your lips parted
but not speaking
to the stranger
removing his clothes
who holds you
to him free
the air so cold
a home you are
The tilted sign outside says no refunds.
I press the buzzer, give my name and reason
for my visit. I use a different language when the voice
asks for it. A door whirs shut behind me.
I follow the others underground, bend low,
hold tight to a rail down broken steps. The voice
grows quiet. In the light from the last candle
our battered hats and stooped shoulders
make us strangely shaped. Only with the sound
of lapping do we know when we have reached
the underground lake. We have found the lost
children asleep. No one will touch them now.
Our boat fills, rocking gently in the darkness.
The too-pale face enters the water. The message
it mouths in a close-up is perhaps goodbye
but one sees no reason to leave. It is not by chance
that the exhibition starts here with couples, almost
like real people in their tiny identical panels
where the sex scenes are intractably themselves
though there are only black lines to indicate
movement and we cannot hear the tiny cries
uttered in starbursts. This is the world of particles
and waves with no facial expressions to negotiate.
One woman's hairy mole is another man's penis
chipped off. It's just what the tourists came to see.
For an additional charge, the woman will adjust
her goggles and cap. But you may end up sleeping
with the ice-cream vendor, who is highly photogenic.