Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Duet: David Tomaloff and Mary Stone Dockery

This is the latest in Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Duet. To go to the column page, please click here.

What I Know About Being Alone by Mary Stone Dockery

Yes, there is a soreness to the naked creature I have become. Nowhere to point my hips, she says: A body still exists whether it is seen or not. Is this the end of things or do I stand at a lover’s window, swallowing a heart? When one lover dies, I light a cigarette. Save his smoke. Him: a memory of planet-making buried beneath porches. Still. I anticipate. Practice opening my mouth. Even now, I hear her dusk withdraw. She says: A body remembers what has been spoken. Closefisted whisper. Bourbon tongue. I want to know what it would mean to hear her say yes. A weatherman points to me from the television and I want him, too. Her: a windmill carved into my skirt. I’m always in love with too many at once.


Soft Proof by David Tomaloff

Yes, there is a soreness to the naked creature I have become. I photograph my bruises, tell myself I am awake. Through a hole in the center of my body, I parse heat to produce light; a steadied stream of compliments; a place for others to push hands through for the sake of the practice of subtraction.


pounded or pounding,

reaching into the skull-place

of the ventriloquist,


a rabbit out

by its piano-sharp horns

;  it’s the  fourth of july

somewhere, is what we are told.


The river is only implied. The river is that there is never a river; that this is the only way by which a river might be described. We swap lemon stories on shuddering trains. We forget ourselves in others. Or we did. How does one recall?


the steady trickle of hours,

each in which I own no story—

no persons within

the saccharine dye of threads,

the void of common clothing;

bystander as a proper noun.


Surely, there is a soreness to this creature I have become. I diagram my swallows, tell myself I am replete. The body is a diorama of will—so monolithic that its name describes another. A name with a name of its own. Do you believe that?


hatching as a mutable action;

a song to be sung in an improbable key—

flashing inebriate.

fingers creepy crawling,

though my lantern fists have become the sun.



David Tomaloff builds things out of ampersands and light. His work has appeared in several chapbooks, anthologies, and in fine publications such as Metazen, Heavy Feather Review, Northville Review, CBS Chicago, Necessary Fiction, HTML Giant, A-Minor, Pank, and elimae. He is also co-author of the collaborative poetry collection YOU ARE JAGUAR, with Ryan W. Bradley (Artistically Declined Press, 2012). Send him threats:

Mary Stone Dockery is the author of Mythology of Touch and Aching Buttons. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Mid-American Review, Gargoyle, South Dakota Review, Connotation Press, Menacing Hedge, and others. She is the co-founding editor of Stone Highway Review. Currently, she lives, writes, and teaches in St. Joseph, MO.

More of Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Duet at Used Furniture.

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