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This faded, cardboard orange box,

                        Swooshed and sturdy
            Like the overpriced athletic
 Shoes that it once housed,
            Two decades ago,
            Carries the flotsam of a life–
                        Or is it jetsam?
One thousand eighty cubic inches,
                        Still loosely packed,
            Give or take, with things:
A dusty, half-full bottle of
            Drakkar Noir, four-o’d report cards,
            Some 6-inch floppy discs-     
                        Post de-magnetized.
Long lost, the Polaroid camera,
            By the glossy sepia nudes of
Boyfriends and estrangements
            With smiling aging me’s in various
            States of undress, inebriation and
                        Persistent youthfulness.
Once, I know, there was a gold chain
                        And crucifix–
            A gift from my grandmother
That I cannot find after picking through
            And shaking every item in
            The cardboard chest. I lost it, I curse,
                        Or someone took it.
A love poem I wrote but never gave,
                        Folded neatly,
                        Pen-ink smudged by time and tears.
A glossy New Yorker comic, clipped
                        By a dear friend
                        With whom I have since lost contact.
Keys of all shapes and sizes and alloys
                        Dozens of them,
                        To all the past places I’ve called home.
My first driver’s license, a Libertarian voter registration,
                        Blockbuster card,
                        A Miami Dolphins lower bowl ticket stub.
A slow-ticking, gold-banded Timex watch that I shake, and
                        Slide on my wrist,
                        Once the nicest thing I owned.
I have moved this box with me, cramming and
            From the east coast to the panhandle
To lakesides to other states to the bayshore.
            From dorms to apartments to houses
            To mansions to condos.
                        From optimism to loss to hope.
Here, moving again, moved to a new space
            Accounting for and taking inventory
Of stasis in constant change. Time in a box,
            Stacked in a new corner:
            Stacked in a different closet:             
                        Beneath another ‘nother’s stuff.

Accruing dust, dander, mold and yellowed edges,

                        More nostalgia,
            And now, another poem to be–undoubtedly–
Revisited again when this newest lease expires.
            This space, this time, is perfect.
            This box is only so big.
                        This box is only so big.


And so he watched as she partook of the flesh

And of the fruit, of the devil, of the knowledge.
And he did know her as he saw her
And did, of his own bone, lust
And did, for his own rib, lust.
Then, in the shadow of original sin, he fathered
Then, with fleshy fruit yet palate-settled,
Then, from banished seed,
Then, among his presence multiplied,
Then, he watched his teeming issue.
We, in his fashion, remain cursed voyeurs,
We, tempted by flesh and knowledge, see.
We abide in reciprocated spectacle,
We are Cain and Able and deluge,
We are witness to plague and redemption.
Watch with the eyes of God, of Pope Peter:
Watch with stone eyes, Galilean eyes watching God. 
Watch, digitally, panoptically: snowy prism.
Watch, with power multiplied: exponentially.
Watch time, watches, watchers, watched.
Each unto himself, seeking salvation,
Each unto the past, fleeing damnation,
Each unto the encroaching soon-yore, nearby:
Each unto his neighbor: distrusting, controlling
Each, making selves Oriental, into adjacent

Closing the Third Trimester

Endowed, not so much with birthing hips,

            But well-enough, nonetheless,
I dilate, and push; the walls of my innards
            Flexing in painful waves.
Otherwise blessed with the gene, the one
            That makes my womb barren,
That makes my womb a myth:
And, yet, birth I give, to a bouncing work,
            A perfect: A spirit: A soul.
Conceived from an unrepentant ether,
            Snatched from moments,
Uncounted among progeny, yet living,
            Bravely, fists clenched, and
Page-turning in wrinkled time:
Son of Washington and Whitman,
Son of Eliot and Proust,
Son of Plato, Virgil, and Wilde,
Foucault, Melville, and Mann,
And Stein and Woolf,
And Vidal and Navratilova(?),
And Jean-Baptiste,
            And Jesus Christ.
Perched between clavicle and crown,
            Gravity-centered higher
Than most might expect for a carnal being,
            For a human being whose lower
Two-thirds might otherwise work, and
            In whose primal needs beauty beats,
I project into a vast and hungry ether:
Freak, mutant, next in line to the throne,
            New race, or is it species?
Or, is it really next in the long line passed
            From mind to mind, heart to heart,
Along a different path, consummated upon
            Different hips, made for strength,
Different strength, borne of a different womb: