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after Diane Seuss

My private parts are many: my nostrils are private, my under

arms, my toes—my toes especially(!) are private—and soles,

private, my stomach heaving to expel the nothing

left after three dehydrated days of swine flu—

remember that?—which I didn’t know I had, only

I’d just gone to my first real college party, terrified

of drinking underage, despite, despite, terrified then

to have a first boy’s head resting in my lap, and private

my head spinning from the booze or the flu or the what now(?)

of it all, private—’til now—waking unable to move from bed,

heaving, heaving, certain it was true what my father’d said:

I’d get sick if I ever—and of course I’d ever—

not discovering ’til later what I’d actually contracted, private

what the ENT found in my nasal cavities proning me

to infection, private my shame for never calling

that boy again, my memory and his kind, drunk eyes.