Mark Doty I have a slight thrumming aura of backache, so Marie we've met for a late lunch before a movie, at a Greek place in the West Village says What you need is the chi gong parlor, so we take a cab to a vague block between SoHo and Chinatown Marie has to look to find it and once she's spotted the flight of scarlet stairs leading down from the street, she leaves us at the door, benevolently, as if to say, Here, my dears, is the gift I've led you to. We're ushered into a long room bright as a nail salon, various citizens, entirely dressed but for coat and shoes, prone upon the many tables, as we are, in a moment, Paul a table away from me. His masseur's an intense, strapping man; mine an intense, compact woman who asks what sort of treatment I require and soon pushes against various points along my spine, which on the whole feels more marvelous than unpleasant, knots of tension loosening, and soon I'm fading under the specific presence of touch; no more bright chamber full of sore New Yorkers, no more street noise,
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 31, 2006
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