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35 A History of Love’s Body Each morning I bared my ass to the angel of numbness. All beauty and business was she in administering the cold cc’s with a smile that hurt. With hair pulled back by a single pin and wings tucked in to her bodysuit , she tapped the syringe and made it squirt, sang in French, froze my heart. I kissed her on the mouth and said, “Au revoir, my dear.” Pulled up my pants and buttoned my shirt with the knowledge of suffering, suffering, but that was it; no feeling it inside my head where I digressed on this and that with turns of thought that left me stunned, disinterested and smart, ready to write, which I did, I did like a perfect bastard. For a hundred years I took her shots and won awards and always thought, Ifeelenough,Ifeelenough, when then it was a voice cried out between my coughs, bothbeautifulandtrue as my dose wore off. Bothbeautifulanduntrue without the benefit of morning. Girdyourloins, it warned, fortheonslaughtofothersasyou,you. deNiord text-2.indd 35 11/10/10 10:40 AM 36 And I was afraid. Chooseoneatthestart andworkfromthere. And I was confused. Seehowitremainsitself whilealsocrossingover toanynumber. And I was emboldened. Icallitthemathoftheunfrozenheart. Icallittheconsanguinityofmindsreleasedfromfear. And I was prepared. Butyoumustnameityourself forittomeananythingatall. Findyourownwordsforthepain thatmakesyouwhole—bothyouandanother, nomatterhowawkwardorbrief. And I uttered a sound that made no sense, but was indelible in the air, a syllable was all that grew in my throat, a diphthong for the pitch of two songs at once, both joy and grief. deNiord text-2.indd 36 11/10/10 10:40 AM ...


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