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.