ONE POEM: ‘The Masquerade’

‘All Masked Up.’ | Mask shop in Cannaregio, Venice maskshop | Douglas John Imbrogno photo, 2008

by Douglas John Imbrogno

Consistently, the eye returns
to its own meaty suffering.
The stink of the body’s animal
craving, that inchoate desire

to inhabit the spaces, the
crevices, the portals of the most
desirous version (to picky brains)
of the human animal.

Perhaps on all fours,
a rump presentation,
speared & despoiled,
licked and drunk.

Drunk, to be sure.
Even in talking of desire,
to stoke it. What’s the why
behind this mad urge

to abandon all caution?
It is a forgetting, for one.
Dissolution into physical bliss,
which, as the head is so troubled,

so often, feels like a blessing.
Intoxication, with its fellow traveler,
forgetting, for however many moments,
masquerades as liberation.

2004/2023, west virginia

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