As You Are

As You Are

You think yourself slick     you with your
curvature     you with your shrubbery

     the metallic taste of your possibilities
the concrete resonance of your
surroundings     distilled to your very

     the things you taste     the things you
hear     and smell     and swallow     the
crispness of your purity

     your bleached essence     the machine of
your being     the map of your piece-parts
and how they interlock     your grip     and
your necessity

     escaping from a world of pain     to re-
establish as a curl of smoke

     replete with fingers and thumbs     and a
way of moving     with hips and thighs

     and the cheap deterrent of sexuality
and a creaking box spring
tuned to a minor key

     and the music filtered by the color of
night as heat sinks into the river’s grip

     and your life diminishes into the clutch of

Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press, 2018) and “Graph of Life” (Finishing Line Press, 2018). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Manhattanville Review, West Trade Review, River River, Otoliths and Indicia. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.

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