564 Readings


Leaving Hotel Skandia in the grey dawn’s growl
of car horns and red light district litanies—
Oh little boy, you run an ache through my bones.
We trade our hands for luggage, haul off
what I’m carrying home: a bag of salt licorice,
a list of useless Danish phrases—My ham
is frozen
and Spot me. I have nothing
for moments when grief comes heavily
as a mouthful of peanut butter and sticks
in my throat the whole way down.
I choke out an order for two train tickets,
lights flicking off at Tivoli, the terminal
hunkering over us as the clock tower
calls out the hour and keeps on counting.
When I tell you, The stars like your hipbones
, and, If you sing, you mold me like
a pastry
in my crude translation, I misspeak.
I mean to say that love is hard when we
have only our hands to help. The train car
filled with passengers asleep on one another
winds its way through tunnels to the airport.
The morning nearer now, we press our lips
together. Where we open, we close.
The city like a book covered in words.
Posted 06/01/11
First appeared in Smartish Pace, 2010.
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