Pepper Luboff

an unset set
a figure’s transfer spotlit center
negative and score
lobbed and blended in air

dear actor as detective
I fell in love with how your dour face
mimed solving, epiphany, brow
lifting to hit a note in head voice
the way light threaded
your curvaceous eyes

longing was a guess
as to how you felt
what you acted, which I
transmuted to feeling

I write you, face
in three-quarter view, with a mind
to draw off this grief
by acting it supremely
or having you do so

a mythical plot, the father says
you’re angry at me because
you’re attracted to me
I love you so much it scares you or
if you hold the other end of this rope
my energy will be transmitted to you

during upbringing’s protraction
he hangs his feelings on my floating ribs

a thinning retreat sticks
my bones out farther

I assume attitudes, imaginarily
watched, in our sliding mirrors

now, as he petrifies, my terror
is astral, a hovering, radiant performance
(seas of throats tighten, chests stutter)

he says, I want you to make a rope for me
like the one I made to pull you up the sierras:
seven feet long, loops at either end
with bowline knots securing them

I draw toward him receding
wondering our


a scattershot proscenium loom
warps, dumb lines
threaded through eye
wire heddles of

bone O mask    lips agape

  billions’ neuronal fray    and    dead nerves

this unwept bowl and doily weave’s tensity

endeavour, will you do that for me?