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Gary L. McDowell

A girl molds him of wetted clay,
his arms in direct proportion
to his legs. She carves her initials
into his brow then makes lean his torso,
his pelvis full and exact, wide, too full,
until his limbs start to fold in on themselves
like a dying sunflower. She deepens
and deepens the eyes on his forehead—
her fingers are cold, his tongue is dirty—
if she were to scrape it down,
would her fingerprints melt into that stratum
and become his taste. She gives
an extra kiss of flesh and lips
depress, the ridges in each rut enough
to tighten his spine. His neck clicks.
The ball of one bone kneads the other.
But her hands ache for something to hold.
The body is now planted.

Gary L. McDowell

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