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  • denise duhamel siirlerinden...

    these tribes of men were never seen,
    except for their footprints and shadows,
    except for their snow huts and weapons.
    seeing that there were no invisible women,
    these imperceptible men courted humans.
    invisible men were said to be among the most handsome,
    but women could not be sure who they married
    until the unseen spouses died
    and then their faces became apparent.
    one human woman was so curious,
    she often stared into her invisible husband's shadow
    trying to guess the shape of his chin.
    when she held his body against hers at night,
    she memorized his outline. she tried to fill
    everything else in the next day when he was out hunting.
    she imagined the shapes of his hot breath in cold air
    were keys to the details of chest.
    she noticed the nuances of skin color among the villagers
    and tried to approximate his. when they kissed,
    she paid tribute to his invisible nose's width.
    one day when she could stand it no longer
    she stabbed a knife into the space
    where her husband was sleeping.
    his feet appeared first, then his legs,
    his torso, his arms, and finally his face
    which was more angelic than any wife
    could have imagined. outside the hut
    bows were seen moving through the air
    as the other invisible men craved revenge.
    because of their code of honor, invisible men
    could not aim arrows at those who could not see them.
    so instead they wailed along with the wife,
    voices even more invisible than usual,
    sobbing their disembodied grief.