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Always covering myself
in clothes or cloaks of words
which only dogs hear: in truth
                    I was nude and didn't know
which parts to cover or if
I could finally uncover it all.
And what a relief to move
my hands, formally, from
my breasts, testes and labia,
to show myself, for what I am—
a worm or perhaps just a cell
which may birth and split from itself
                    and I wish you could see
all my secret hairs
revealed like words
or the meanings of words
which always seem concrete
in dreams but never when I awake
                    and quickly cover.

Ryan Van Winkle

American Poetry Review

July / August 2013

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