What we heard about thirst was true.
Everywhere, water. Everywhere, salt.
And we drank it. We learned to love
our crumpling bones. Each sunspot
on our skin deserved a christening.
Distance gifted the world a shimmer.
Time passed, perhaps. We grew wolfish.
Spears of birdcall. Unthinkable birds.
We searched for the isle of women.
We searched for our dead fathers.
We searched for the hardware store.
We were used to solitude. Some of us
had worked the mills, where skylights cracked
and loaned us stars. We learned to relish
the ownership of hours. Our sheets
acceded to the torpor. If you must,
call it sickness — the sea colonized us.
Below muslin, our heartbeats thrilled,
lazy as laps. Breezes licked our faces flat.
If we wept, we wept soundless as sand.What wave would betray our trust?
It had been a difficult summer.
I had been a life without seductions.
Here, everyone composts the Sundays.
Everyone is entitled to a 35-seconds orgasm.
We leave our gentility for an occasional rental.
There is work to be done, dust
on the busts of the stockbrokers.
All is cutting. All is edged with fuchsia
possibility. We bite into our shifts
like sworn carnivores. There is beauty,
even, in the absence of exits.
In the personal note (we rubbed spit
on the ink), you said: Thanks for the bodies!Our moon nods, your moon winks.
Save the face
like birding, breeding, or archery.
No point in seeing
the blown-up body.
Our mouths can move
with the usual things.
Nights, though, we wake up to the smell
lifting the white collars of our gowns.
We vow to get out more,
but we’ve had our fill
of scenery, chopped down the apple tree,
the phone lines, the daffodils.
The little corpses of our souls!
They’re smiling up at our stethoscopes.
We carry nothing but scalpels.
Terror keeps us sharp; it’s no miracle
of modern science,
my face on hers.
It’s paper bag with holes for eyes, a shadow
Gash for a mouth.
In the business,