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You have embalmed me

By Perry Brass
(Illustration by Priapus of Milet)


You have embalmed me
with your beak and cock,
stoking each cache

with your cracked spice.
How I lie
in your winding sheet, sleeping

past the wake
of our small end,
a whiter corner in your light,
curled toe to toe
against your parts.

But still
you shift when you've brought me
to sleep, stitching yourself
quickly in the pocket of my heart.

Even in the earth,
I can feel your stalk,
springing about, locking against my seams.

Without eyes, I cry
for you to come forth, to slip
out of my mouth and pull me from death.
Like a trick, you take
each organ from its vase
where it waits to be dressed
in my life again;

and a tongue of me, moistened,
whips to the top,
where I, physical,
hot by your touch,
hang—breathlessly—in the air:
like dust.

Perry Brass’s 19 books include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and short stories. His work often deals with the intense, heartfelt feelings of men and women that came from his radical roots in New York’s Gay Liberation Front directly after the Stonewall Uprising. He is a founding coordinator of the Rainbow Book Fair (which will be held coming Saturday, April 29, in NYC). More info: www.perrybrass.com


  1. Really beautiful to see this here, Michael. And with one of Priapus's great images. This poem has been published a couple of times and is found in my first book of poems, "Sex-charge." It's a real incantation—one of those ancient usages of poetry—part prayer, part erotic stimulant, part secret thought.

  2. Cool, Perry, Cheers. Thanks for letting us reprint it.


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