How she decants herself, abandoning the priests’ pressing: the whirl of soft yellow petals opening leaves me breathless, form refusing limit. I clip the spent blossoms with shears, collecting their orange hips in an enameled bowl. All the stories are old, syllabaries of lauds told.
Channel Five flashes footage of my house
The newscaster’s tone not quite as condemning
as the word NIMBYs he keeps repeating
Referring to us who object to the bill
that wrote a half-way house for recovering drug addicts
May you know your neighbors’ names. May those names cause
more pleasure than frustration. May they applaud
the life you choose to build—your triumphs and flaws—
your loyalty and trysts—your science and your gods.
I fake solemnity and self-negation, finish my meal.
Mosquito swarm about my face, sweat beads on
my brow. Emptiness was more fun to write about
before navigating the corridors of cancer wards, orderlies
Upon the scrotum's fell evacuation
the musculature normally declines--
or so the common wisdom of our time
lets one (that would be me) anticipate.
But here I feel a pair of muscles thrive
on my castrated travel-partner's sides: