like eliot said, the yellow smoke that slides along the windows:

it comes now in the form of lights snapping off

and the stretching of misused muscles.


annie watches stars with her telescope

from the twelfth floor of the tallest building in town.

she's on fire with want and eroding with oxygen.


the smoke blows flat against the windowpanes

and grumbles and itches at getting inside.

annie touches herself as she looks at maps of the known universe.


she gets hot over metaphysics and the neverending deep of everything.

so she wants to get married in chicago to someone she'll never see

mainly to satisfy her mother.


the smoke stretches out in four directions and oozes up and out.

it bends around streetlights and up into annie's infinite underbelly,

the canopy of stars she'd like to breathe upon.


the smoke traces over ice in the parking lot

and glances over frosty fields,

it winds through the boughs of sentry trees.


unlike eliot, annie knows nothing of mermaids and of growing old.

she rolls the bottoms of her trousers, but only to play in the tide,

and rolls them down to stand in tall grass with her telescope.


she aches for the touch of firey, burning globes

and kisses girls, hard,

so she sees the same stars.


annie cares nothing for time, and she dares disturb the universe.

take me, i am yours, she says, take me away.

i will float around forever and care nothing for cars and buildings,


shed my clothes and hold me till i remember the beginning of time,

touch me till i remember everything and use me, use me,

suck me dry into the infinite vacuum.


then i'll know i fought a good fight, i'll have kissed the sky and won,

touch me until i remember,

i dare you to take me.


out of love and sick with compassion, eliot's smoke trickles into wisps.

it draws slowly away from the windowpanes.

it says, to learn, you must take me and inhale me.


breathe until you fill your lungs with golden air.

hold me wetly, sweetly, in your mouth,

crush me between your hard enameled teeth.


annie lays in the middle of the icy parking lot and cries, arms wide.

she tried to jump but she fell fast, and the universe told her just how long

absolutely nothing would last.


now she inhales and holds her breath,

cupping her throat.

she's on the black concrete with her telescope next to her and she