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At the gym the boy in the stall next to

me has, “bipolar,” “lovers,” “medicine”


tattooed here and there. I’ve got vindaloo,

rice and curry on my tongue. There’s cotton


balls in my pocket, band-aids, a thing – spork?

Something that’s neither fork nor spoon, and yet


I can’t throw away. I’ve got stains, all cork

and basque, under my eyes. With comb I wet


my hair, smear the steamy mirror. My tube

socks are pulled to my knees. My gym shorts tight.


Bazooka Joe gum in one cheek. My words

might mean shame or pride. Startled, the flashcube


on your camera goes off. I hate that light,

that shows me exposed, my startled mouth blurred.