Dawn Lundy Martin

Zero as the translation of O. The circle a mouth makes in pronouncing. O. I have never told anyone this
before. It is ruby. Rubbed. Spot that throbs and gapes. Sound of the O. On my skin (it has a surface) I
inscribe with a hot clip the letters of a puncture. Deserted carousel. Headless horse.

The fit is tight. Splitting into— stiff cup. A dark mouth moves, enters the tremor of a voiced, Uh.
But, all this is not love, not love in the way one milks the center. Instead, chronic terror stripped to bone
grating upon bone. Of down home, twang twang, and promise. My knees pressed behind ears.

Between poundings, the body Uhs. Cracked R. Cracker, crack her. Laughing: you ain’t nothing but a
black maid. The process is a patient body, waiting for discovery, hovering, crissed, saying Christ.
This is raw data. Standing broken the udders flap. He grunts: Is this what you want, whore?

Swimmingly. Neck drooped. One attempt. Another. This is a very private moment. Zero as the
incarceration of a theme. Uh, and Uh again. Peels the pink inside of the cheek. As if hollowing out.
Hollering a big giant O. There is the saw, sawing and the needle pinning. I wait. Unspeaking.

[Signal] [A black thought] [Black as in a tunnel darkening] [A secret] [Cranked] [Red] [Sense
of unmoving] [Pleasure of seeing a dead thing] [Female as in floating, floating] [Whispering] [Muh]