Mark Conway

Marginalia on Our Bodies

Not that evening, early, when

we begged for retro-rockets to slow

the turning of the moon

to mud, or the bitch

star to light the grounds

of new rendezvous, oh we liked it —

the selected pleasures

of that modernity. 

I especially remember

secondary relics: the rasp

of your lips, saliva, the salt 

flat of your belly.


Now we slip

toward vespers, singed

by a slight twist

of vodka, humming

in the clear velocity

that shoots us past

the nights when I was plausible,

and yours.  Here we sit with snapshots,

nodding, pretending

to remember our regret.       

                                             Or, work

to work all over, in the following

light.  We bank

on restoration by dinner,

an annulling thump of hunger…


and search again at midnight

on the cliffs

of your bare torso

for the scrawled marginalia left fading,

words we wrote, in tongues

and lip, into the vellum

of our younger skin.  Beneath

your breast, I find crude

Sanskrit praising the gods we left

and the gods that left us,



               In the last night,

when workers come to gather us 

as we were, they’ll see

    the scars used to mark

where we’d been hurt

on skin brilliant

and eternal as tattoos.