a seething crop of whales in the distance: our sirens
and underneath it all the ebb and swell of a sick wind
have you ever felt stranger than when you said that word; 'wound'?
the stars were our panic buttons. we fanned our fingers like that
and morse-coded the bear, his daughter and the painter’s easel.
“In ten years we will call our son Cetus” -- I can’t pretend to understand
how we could have been so stupid.
how through chapped lips we forced our words to rhyme, as if
somehow, that would save us.
how we even first learned to use that language.
I have never felt stranger than when you said that word; ‘soon
Instead of reading, she decided to clean the windows. They had never been cleaned in all the years that she had lived there. Streaks of old soap and dirt gauzed the morning sun as it entered the room. Pictures of faces and notes that she and her boyfriend had left each other were traced on the glass, ending with muddy fingerprints. It took a long time to clean them and she thought how pleasant a task it was. Naturally, when she was finished, she was overcome with a terrible sense of grief and she sat on the floor and wept.
Sick of writing about the pianist,
she leaves for Berlin and makes her
home next to the absence of a wall
She contemplates the American Embassy
and changes her cigarette brand
She sets out walking
and considers percentages of lives,
eats alone, begins to consider meat as flesh,
removes paintings from their frames
and in their place hangs mirrors
Calling home small voiced
she asks after family and friends
politely, washing dishes as she does so,
the phone in the crook of her neck
She makes no friends, does not make love,
resents nothing and leaves no
holes in people's lives