Other Man No. 9


This Other Man’s tail is bigger

and the fire is blue, hotter than

others I’ve known, and I’ve known a few.


The other is cold now, not responding quickly

when I entreat him with text to come

over and eat me, or do whatever


our vast appetites suggest. I’m an ocean

of desire, infinitely recursive, any impulse

collapsing back on itself. A wave


is only stable for so long before it turns

back into a trough, anything I want

eventually gone into some other form


another man might instruct me

to assume for his use or pleasure.

I’m in equipoise, each new thought


lashing me to the horizon

in an opposing direction, until I’m hung

suspended over the froth and churn


that this Other Man is making in his coffee

cup. He stirs clockwise, then counters

that with a slash across the current


and I imagine his obvious command

of rhythm transposed to a different

context, downbeats, staccato


notes on my behavior, good

or displeasing, corrections required,

stretched so perfectly in every direction


that the ocean I am cancels

itself out, wave and trough perfectly

meeting in instant calm


and I produce cash from

the nowhere of my pocket,

and then we’re off—

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