Pleasure Theory

Glenn Shaheen

          Pillars rising from the sheets, tongues

unraveling from difficult words and the terror of the day. The clock

says nobody is awake in any

                     time zone, not any place we know. The room a mouth

steeped in hot breath. Come here,

          I have important things to brush past your cheek, I have

                                                                     a melody you haven’t heard

before. Tympanic, yes, and the rhythm

is steady and measured. Festivals have been sprouting

up celebrating the nationalities

                     we admire, the ones we don’t consider dangerous. I’m

          dangerous, give me a chance. The clock

                                is wrong, somewhere somebody

is waking

                     up and getting ready to do something hard,

          say something difficult. The timpani rolls but does not

crescendo. We’ve got weapons we use as instruments, cannons in the big

pushes. That bombast’s for a different night,

these are things that could make another human

                     furious. Saving the big volume, whatever pushes,

          whatever pulls. Millions

                                                      spent on festivals. The room here

is broken

                     apart from that, disembodied, twirling

in the ether. I’m drunk, aren’t you curious

          for a bit of anger and claws? We read that gene splicers

          have created a minotaur, but

it doesn’t last long, only minutes, not  enough time to be used in perfect force.

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