Today's poem is by Caryl Pagel


He bites a tape-measure between his teeth,
spits out six and a half, then that he knows
a man to slice it—sew the zippers she
wants on both sides, latch hooks in the hollows.
His family owns a clothing store. It's cold
out; he pretends to fold. She says please cut
two straight slits from in the inner elbow
to the base of the palms. The slide should shut
even. Open to skin. He stops; looks out the store
window as blue boot-tracks cleave a wedged path
through the snow—to the door. To say anymore,
want anymore; to suffer, order, stand
there and let her let or be let. He pens
the lines, discloses teeth—he turns, he lets.

Copyright © 2008 Caryl Pagel All rights reserved
from Visions, Crisis Apparitions, & Other Exceptional Experiences
Factory Hollow Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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