In the cell of else / in the pitch-white
someone’s hands shackled between ankles
in the nights & sunny days keeping the clouds
shaking the rib cage & no way
to keep the music from entering & breaking
the bodies hit / Let the bodies hit the /Barney
is a dinosaur / this is the touching without being
touched / this is the being without
silence / from our imagination / in wave upon
wave / in a shipping container & I love you
in a box of shock you love me / in a cemented
dream / we’re a happy family /
with a great big hug and chains that leave no mark
Won’t you say you love me too?
Philip Metres is the author of Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), Sand Opera (2015), and others. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, six Ohio Arts Council Grants and the Hunt Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters. He is professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland. This poem originally appeared in Sand Opera (Alice James, 2015) and is reprinted with the author’s permission.