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Barbara Daniels
Blood Heat

Whose thighs are these, long
in the water? You’re not who you
thought you were, stiff perpendicular,
but spreading flesh, belly, breasts.

Your smallest scar darkens, perverse
little W. Vivid pairs of orderly staple scars
glow maroon, your fingers hushed
in stilled water. Your warmed legs

rise, you almost float, but gravity
sinks you. Perhaps what you think of
as pleasure, the body’s core calmed
in the blood heat of water, is only

absence of knowledge. You hear
a world you might enter—under the tub
pipes elbow downward, gasping,
sucking, breathing your name.