In Bed


A rancid warning: don’t admit

to days in shrink wrap, salt or ash. Go.

You shouldn’t lag behind.


You’re trying to see through her skin to the street when she asks

point-blank (like holding a gun to your head): Are you

happy? All her buildings have two stairways. You keep scowling

at her shoulder and begin to see the sidewalk — dark purple

instead of the grey that you’d expected. Maybe

you could pull yourself outside-in, the way

a parasite invades, or the beach towel of a pregnant woman

conforms by the force of her belly to her hole in the sand. Smile

until the answer is Yes. You suspect you don’t have

that kind of force. If you loved her,

you’d have gotten to the bottom of her: unzipped

along her spine and dragged a finger, pressing dust;

would have lifted up and watched the finger

and, when nothing struck you

(though you’re wounded), zipped her closed.


There’s nothing more to notice here

but valleyed bodies, capped and pruned. Yes.

There’s no one else to please.