Jeff Stein

In Passing: An Exchange

been ready to go for some time now he scratches open scabs on his chest it starts kicking as soon as she lies down ankles swelling only the fluids keeping him alive too late to travel the body can be stored for 6 days the cervix still completely closed a pound a week a piece of glass

the fetus actually removing pressure from her lungs as it drops unable to evacuate the toxins mushroom through his system making his skin itch the mind splinter she shatters a window a

metal shopping cart he used as a walker the frame sticks in the track shards across the living room a bloodstream of cards if we could locate all the slivers waiting for something to loosen where breathing is key a brief period of euphoria before passing all the clothing washed and ready can't hold on that long

the nursery finished a pane of glass covers the ceiling waiting a celestial rock

Golem in a Secret Panel

I refuse to write it this time I refuse to write in a wall 

will not sacrifice my drag my family in a 

not a thing under the floorboards none in the attic

these are not my instincts 

I resign my post as Head Tunnel-Maker

mezzuzim talit tefillin out on the table 

skull cap blaze of scalp in a window of scalps

this is not whole and can only come soon enough
for a poem after war 

Baruch ata Adonai eloheinu
but I don't stop not of the ghetto the Party

pogroms the-I don't stop O say shalom bimromav 

repressed underneath a festering merely a need 

to tell what otherwise cakes to the sides of lips 
I refuse to write these words in mud

but I don't stop  

earthing and unearthing burying waiting you know digging 

with a spoon and the parchment the name the x the lips 

compelled to breath to following a line

returning and resorting  

if it must be the mud enough to make 

a new one: unformed mass in the shape of: a final option 

resorting to mud a spoon and the letters secret panel

these words this poem of mud with the x I refuse

one dry mouth (a set of lips & calling of skins)

in the meantime my sex is sort of hanging there bob-ing where i can only enter & take nothing in lips my of sex windows hanging other ink mouths not speak writing asking to open and close with speaking skin she buzz is of skinning i let the alarm clock alarm & the buzzer buzz she is speaking new flesh injecting a flange one dry mouth 1 set of lips for windows inside out comes to this part of her letting something out i ask alarm clocks and timers one more dime i am always a mouth saying cotton & cotton & hour alarm of the buzz off the body clock this is read as something interior

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