Drone Acupuncture

I woke early and went to shower

in the darkness and saw and heard the couple having intercourse. The parts of their bodies that were normally covered by clothes were those of leopards.

That attitude being so ponderous of which parts were those of leopards and which were not. That attitude

out of the question, of what I consider and do not consider.

Consider, uh, slipping a shoe off under the table in the evening.

Consider the delicate marbling on the skin.

Consider the state of corsetry, of, yeah, consider untying those bows.

When I am in bed sometimes

I notice the parts of my body covered by clothes are those of a leopard.

Consider genitals as oblative precursor of sound—

Consider gold beads in ears—

the sun waning in the mouths of the dead and almost dead

my dream-brother far away in Los Angeles now too, and

the baroque movement of the sun—

Baroque, the sun baroque?

Consider the crowded dreams of leopards.

Now the gold beads in the ears—

produced blue beams of light at night, before I woke to shower, and they pointed me to the Leopards’ Moon.

In the painting she is wearing a coral necklace and naught else, glancing at herself in the hand mirror. Her clothes are off, but she does not share the parts of a leopard.

Can I, in connection, be secure in the thought that I too might bear a human anatomy, that in my dreams I can wander the city of the living and the dead:

a radiant fantasy of strawberry ices

whose pink Venetian pillars crumble in my human throat,

and marrons glacés which appear on the steps on

the night of the New Year.

Now mouths steaming mornings, the night-watchmen consider their egress.

When I turn leopard holding
the porch pillar the
immobile hawthorns and rush-
reaching panicles in the slumber vase,
I turn leopard in low red light.

When the song reaches home
you are dead.

When I turn leopard
we are caught in the sand,
I inside you,
by he holding the conch.

When I turn leopard the dream becomes ordinary.

Given, when leopards see the slumber vase, things become real on the stoop.

In the real light of day, dreams become real, or, unclassifiable emotions.

When I woke as me the streetcars were electrified. I walked down the tunnel into the darkness.

When I turned leopard I sang a song of daybreak in the city of the unborn.

In the city of the unborn I see the mountains in the distance; they do not excite me.

Given my knowledge of the city it was to my surprise to uncover this new area of the city, where the leopards live.

Though the trees curve down on lovers lane,

I now long for real things: I dig them out of the earth

and bring them to Leopard Village.

I bring a fig metal brooch, I bring a lyreflower.

I bring the leopard’s song.

illustration of the lower half of a leopard in yellow with a horizontal plane above it with drifting gray spots above

Terrence Arjoon is a poet and book-maker whose work has appeared in Tagvverk, The Poetry Project Newsletter, and Screen Slate. His chapbook Acid Splash, or Into Blue Caves was published by 1080press. He edits 1080 Magazine and The Brooklyn Review, and co-organizes the poetry series at Pete's Candy Store.