1.

She's quite agreeably incoherent.

Quite, he says,

as he snuffs his cigar,

the stanching white marks on my table.

They are like rope burns.

His straight, green lips are

vomiting inward.

x

I am rummaging,

searching for the fundamental.

I have shaken every leg of the table.

Lean and narrow,

like my whittled spine, hunched and mottled

like a turning pear,

festering and frozen in the pantry.

Still, you do not see me.

x

His threats today,

are futile.

They are the opening glares

of cold wars. He is praying,

but I am wishing already that we had not met.

He is pelting poker chips like bullets.

I have laid my flag out

like a tablecloth.

Every stitch is mine

every stitch is longing to be undone.

It wants to weave a symbol,

suspending the promise it spun.


2.

She is sitting, affected,

slovenly,

fingerprints on pyramids of mirrors.

Her excruciating pallor,

the most beautiful I have ever seen.

Champagne is her dialect,

her grandmother is her voice.

Her hands are folded and dusted lightly.

Now which way is north?