Dirty Bits

Merrill Cole

No, it’s not pornography.
The suture hardly holds.
It sags like old glass.

Cut in half,
A smile becomes sellable.

No, not ghosts.
The laundry of the dead,
Listing in the wind.

Stains quiet in early light.
Among the eyeless dolls
And unpriced socks.

Hit with limbo,
The body grows damp.

No, call it a garden,
Where sallow flowers bloom
Like low wattage bulbs.

Merrill Cole is the author of The Other Orpheus: A Poetics of Modern Homosexuality and the translator from the German of the 1923 naked dancing magnum opus, Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy. His poetry has most recently appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, The Good Men Project and Poetic Diversity. His non-fiction most recently appeared in Mayday Magazine. He teaches literature, creative writing and queer studies at Western Illinois University.


  1. Impressed. Really evocative. Collection forthcoming?

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