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.


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.


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.


She is sitting, affected,


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?