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Sympathetic Magic

In talking about it, and writing about it

he placed his burdens

on display, the fashion of anguish.

Making the effort to extend and externalize,

begging to be objectified, handled,

caressed, placed on her night-table,

the last thing seen before sleep,

a dream totem. Small and easily held,

her hands all about him.

He was counting on the gravity of his suffering,

the exquisite curvature of his past and future,

drawing her deep into the well of his now,

like a pit, like euclidian trajectories bent

into the circles of inferno. He felt warped,

and warping, and needed someone to act

as the planet, the source of his distortion,

its cause become the effect,

a want into need like matter into energy.

In his behaviour he offered up his troubles

in a performance to imaginary gods

in the covert hope she'd arrive to reveal

that they were in fact alone and therefore only together

and therefore his troubles hers and hers his only,

and he pretended his performance of faith

only for the day when she

might come to break it, another faith hidden

and nesting within the hollow husk.

He imagined it might be like the spreading of

an infection, his burdens passed onto her

and they becoming alike in swelling and fever.