Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

A MAN OFFERS ME

A man offers me drugs and whores on the beach,
bodies that sway like dolphins, he promises, break
open like glass, emotion. Pay them and forget what drowning
is like, all of the weight of love. Just get to the act,
the burning play of legs like violin and bow
            —smoke, sweet, music, sweat—
a way out of the sun’s weary heat
and into that center of being, your own, that drive
and drive through another body—no need
for words, kisses or tongues or anything
tangling, trapping—just pure motion
and longing you do not need to explain, cradling
someone you do not know, sharded and gritted,
ready to break open again, oyster shells
against a rock of wet bones, he promises.

j a m e s   b r a z i e l
c i n c i n n a t i ,   o h i o

Mr. Braziel is married to a Caribbean literature scholar.

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