Sam Haskins, Cheating Ace, 1964
Sam Haskins, Cheating Ace, 1964

Pretend that I’ve forgotten who I am
and it’s your job to remind me: say my name
and tell me all about my body, what it wants
and what you’ll make it do. Pretend we’re sick,
describe the symptoms: our wild slam-
ming hearts, our fever-flush, our violet veins
throbbing. Pretend I’m blind, and tell me what
you see. Pretend it’s possible to think

after you speak, that body can trump brain
which can trump body, translating the words
into impulses, firing from nerve
to twinkling nerve. Pretend we’ve found the way
to heal, between things and names, the divide:
you be the signifier. I’ll be signified.

Ali Shapiro

PANK Magazine / Six Poems.