Before

 

Before I analyze the color of your eyes with a spectrometer
Before I fill notebooks with crosssections of your cranium
Before I map your topography at one millimeter to an inch
Before I triangulate your exact height with a protractor
Before I study a strand of your hair under a microscope
Before I pour plaster in your footprint to make a cast
Before I calculate your shoulder diameter’s angstroms
Before I immerse you in water to measure your volume
Before I divide your weight by this to find density
Before I derive locations of your ancestors’ lives
Before I look you up in every phonebook and atlas
Before I alphabetize every word you have written
Before I survey your lifeline with a pica stick
Before I visit the neighborhood you grew up in
Before I write down what you say while asleep
Before I sketch a map of your nervous system
Before I learn to sing your favorite operas
Before I devise every anagram of your name
Before I scatterplot your electron orbits
Before I pin your coordinates on a globe
Before I classify each of your freckles
Before I map out your pleasure centers
Before I memorize all 10 fingerprints

Before I begin to compose this poem

Have you noticed me noticing you?


Does it make you uncomfortable?






















It does?

Sorry.

 

 

melting snowball
progressive poetry
number poetry
typographic poetics

Table of Forms
Book

Table of Forms
Web
© 1996-2006
Dominique Fitzpatrick-O'Dinn
Spineless Books