I make the science, the spinneret,

                        fielding the population


            with a skull like a great arcade,

my love, the room broken


                        into melodies and the melodies

            broken into speech. I paint the diagram


of the interstitials and apply the metals

                        to my eyes. The vacuum


            holds, is my keeper,

while a delicate infinitude glitters


                        along its fine thread.

            Love, we would impress,       


in the warmth of the exegesis,

                        with our spells slipping


            into dental percussives, the click

of the sex adhering, of the firm dawn


                        that has wheeled around in front of us.




Sing stop, the organ knob, the private echo. Bonnie

                                    in the morning light,


I told you, and smart about the afternoon. 

But what bird stuff could chance


to lever a mind?

The great blood-sugar thrum, the steel winds


whose noise I equalized against?

Do I tell you a story, my love, or is this


publicity? Chin up through the adverbial corrosion,

                                    the stinging slapjack,


this wind too large for the crop and woe

this gauntlet of thieves. I married you once,


and I’d do it again.

I’d flatten the bill into transparency like


a persistence of years. Come the service

and the deficit. Come the earring and the buckle.


The incorporated injury. The patient exercise.           

                                    Watching you gather


yourself into a single word, watching

the word, watching it all the way through.                            


Come alleyway, come ballroom.

Come throat and entreaty, the respirated flesh


and the electric night.

Ryo Yamaguchi is the author of The Refusal of Suitors, published by Noemi Press in 2015. His work has appeared in journals such as The Iowa Review,
Tin House, American Letters & Commentary, and Barrow Street, among others. He lives in Chicago where he works at the University of Chicago Press.
You can visit him at

© Ira Joel Haber

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