slip from the loud circle for this. on
the screened-in porch, yellow leaves
somehow in june and the heavy warmth.
sinatra lets the night lean through the door.
he tells me to read rilke, hands me o’hara’s
lunch poems with the call number penned
on the back of his hand between the first two tendons.

it’s pineapple, again, and beer
lit blue from the title screen of a show
i’ve half-dreamed through twice. he says
told you when the man drowns
his brother in the shallow sea,
and i nod, close my eyes to it, think
salt, my hands filling with sand.

it was spring when i thanked him.
coffee and the same corner table.
he squared his shoulders against the morning,
upright and kind. the way his shirt stretched
between them caught the light like bowls. i nearly
drank from them,

wine pressed to his forehead,
spread wide to ward off the headache
humming into it. a habitual spooling
inward, still unable to disappear entirely. the first time
i saw him, he was pulling brown wool sleeves
down into his palms,

a certain amount of rapture,
of stillness. the mirrored knife, and
his hands cutting brackets out of red
peppers – enough to hold
the moment between them.


[Fall, 2015]

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