Petrified shells slowly emerge, moisture
the magic potion exposing six sides—
cloned hexagonaria, extinct
in clear shallows of the Big Lake, ice-plucked
cement, ground-off and rounded, deposit
of glaciers erasing an age, pockets
of planet anatomies, those throw-backs
to the sibilant sigh of a sea—as if
in finite gazillionitude docile
fossils mass as Devonian witness.
Shoulders and knees unyieldingly mature!
Mine slide bone over offending bone and
puff like tough balloons, fueling refusal
to move. Once, my shoulders were boulders. Once,
my knees weren’t tricky. I’d sic ‘em on lifts
that deep-sixed me, rips willed invisible.
I saw them scoring jealous stares, mistook
injury for max-burn musculature.
They saw the future, the facts that would soon
ooze, their doomed hinges undone with stickum.
My Wife Practices a Psychotherapy on Me
Using the “Dissociative Experiences Scale”
—after Ali Rashid’s Somebody Looking at Us, 2020
“What percent of the time, by intervals
of ten, do you feel you’re standing next to
yourself, seeing yourself as another
person?” asks the seventh of twenty-eight
As in that masked head of the alien
conjured by galactic metaphysics
like an optical reincarnation
emerging from a thinly white-washed wall
of haphazard placards? “Eighty? Ninety?”
D.R. James’s most recent of nine collections are Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2020), Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box, 2019) and If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press, 2017), and his micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun and printable-for folding at the Origami Poems Project. James lives in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. Https://www.amazon.com/author/drjamesauthorpage.