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The Story of Madame Chevalier

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You remember the Incredible Shrinking Man? I said.
Well, last night I dreamed I was him. It began the same way.
 
The shirt cuffs were the first thing that came to my attention,
drooping down over my knuckles in the bedroom mirror.      
 
And my waistband and shoes were getting looser by the day.
Within weeks you could perch me on your knee like a male doll.
 
Later you would put me to bed in the empty matchbox.
You failed to watch for the spider that came to explore me.
 
I fought her with a darning needle, a button my shield.
She retreated from me on a thread. I followed her down
 
to the cellar. How I made my way back I’ll never know.
It took me days to travel over the quilt to your hand.
 
No longer a hand but an Alpine range of sleeping flesh.
I crawled into an open pore and entered your bloodstream.

Ciaran Carson, “The Story of Madame Chevalier” from For All We Know. Copyright © 2008 by Ciaran Carson. Reprinted by permission of Wake Forest University Press.
Source: For All We Know (Wake Forest University Press, 2008)
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The Story of Madame Chevalier

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