Those strangers pairing off at last & each desiring
What little mercy the other can afford.
Y not that year empty with strangers. Y not the silence of wanting.
Y not when we laughed with rain with something, lounging high, touching
your bare shoulders, when I was born.
Y not your long hair that turns within. When the sirens begin. Y not a
kind of disruption, a kind of rupture by arrangement.
Y not the archeology of Other. Y not limbs, tattoos, the DT’s at dawn, H’s
widow’s hungering, sweating on the fire-escape smoking in her bra.
Y not out of style is loss. Your old clothes in boxes, someone’s scrawled
Y not from you as if dulled with liquor, on the bare mattress, your open
thighs. To step in their stillness was to become the word erased.
Y not a kind of rain, a kind of arms, a kind of shouting, after a while I
couldn’t sleep without you.
Y not some of your friends when we were young, the one with stubble,
eyes like glass. When you were nothing.
Y not their frail bodies, shining.
Y not snow, the syllabics of suffering,
Y not elegies spray painted on basketball courts, each stroke says tomorrow
I won’t be here.
Y not waiting—thank you—ceaseless—passing of being human.
Y not my glance—stillness—blue listened for music in your room, an
ascension overheard through the paper walls.
Y not the way we’d map the cracks in the ceiling—the dim bulb absence
Y not you, why can’t I—you in this city at closing hour, this strange going
improvised ravine, summer rain among the living.
Y not towards your story, green indecipherable shadows, faces I want
would, longing, to cathedral—
Y not two voices that diminuendo, the point at which what is revealed,
is what leaves—
published in Jubilat