the skin on my fingertips, forever worn down and renewed,
the water in the shower curling across my shoulders,
the branches cutting sky, the sky pushing forward mountains
and the walls like spinal columns, erect and weary,
my pillow my lips my eyes and the crow’s feet that scuttle out of them,
my blanched sun the cold the irises lightened in the winter wind,
the treble in hello, the snow the shade the smell in yesterday
the ambiguity in pronouns and their misplaced tomorrows my
nameless one my grammar my hello hello hello and the taste of salt
that follows my own my another my white my red my water that fills to flooding the
names the senseless way of touch in dreams the breath that tickles my tongue as it
whistles down my tonsils the skin between my teeth my hands my calves my
waist my dark in the emptiness of mornings the hips the shoulders as
they wriggle the breasts too against your spoiled cotton the fullness of
alone and the voicefulness of memory as it wears down and renews the menace
in this list

James Nikopoulos’ work has appeared in places like CityMetric, The Awl, Eidolon, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. he is the author of The Stability of Laughter and a professor at Nazarbayev University.

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