I was eating a sadness sandwich
with laughter bread pushing an elephant
up a stair – while flaring a certain
je sais wot, a sparkler flair

it isn’t giving myself local rugburn,
shall we make it a Holstein up a doorstep?
A Mack truck and a slippery mucked ramp?
shall we say, a pain-o pianos of I love yous

gritted up and out, an oily dust
that isn’t part of love proper
more like, an puffed out decision
to stretch extend to the toes
I love you (anyway)

(even though I came home
saw the can lids in the sink
where they will rust it)

You’re a free spirit, agent,
(unhampered by yesterday’s clothes
on the floor) (comb by the sink
missed the drawer by inches)
(wash cloth ditto) I resist picking up after you. I won’t be pat-
ernally, patronizing. I will let your keys stay by the door,
(not on the keyhook but mid-floor) and your apple
core rust to crisp until you notice it or notice my eying it
and you in a molar-scraping bout of suppressed speaking about — you

are where exactly? evening fires
of evening are kindling clouds.
are there message I should be reading?

you should have been home an hour
before me. I came late. no note. no phone.
no indication of plans to not be here.
the night is darkening. I envision and brush
away treasuring the terry cloth that touched
you, using it like posies against the news
that your car was crushed like a cigarette butt
crumpled on the shoulder of the highway;

I would see your hair in the bobbing billiard balls
of every balcony for the rest of my life. Apples
I would eat the bitter pips and they would grow
orchards of indigestion in me —

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