Irma moans

then sits up straight on the

operating table

her eyes are shut

she cups her hands

on her breasts

and says in a clear voice


then she continues


in a language I do not understand

as she talks on and on

the white thing

in her mouth

continues to grow

soon it is as big as a walrus tusk

it sticks out of her mouth

like an obscenely solid

thick white tongue

one of the other doctors

measures it with calipers

while the other one

takes a photograph

but the soles of my shoes

are glued to the floor

I want to vomit

and have to untie my shoelaces

and step out of my shoes

and run in my stockinged feet

across the marble floor

to the lavatory

but when I reach the lavatory

the door opens onto

a ballroom

filled with exquisite people

dressed in costume

it's a fancy-dress ball

centaurs and sirens

kings and queens

gnomes and gypsies

they're having a riotous time

until they see me

they all turn

and stare

they turn

into a

brown and white


that peels off a wall


behind me I feel Irma

pressing against me

her arms circle my waist

I feel congested

I want to cry out

we stand on the edge of a cliff

and wind from the stars

burns our night skins

as we fall into the sky

we turn into porcelain dolls

rotating slowly

to a music box melody