Enough of this, this mania, and the fear that your body will turn against you.

Keep waking up in the empty morning and its thin light,

and everything will be the same for the rest of us.

This should calm you: that nobody can see the blood that’s been rolling

through you, shouting that here there is damage, that here

rest is impossible, that your hand can hold only so many

pebbles from the bottom of the stream before they plink back

to the water and the sand. Maybe with a sneeze you could start over—

you are impossible like that—and we could share our time carefully,

chase these things away, the pigeons that stared slyly at our sandwiches.

This time is an orange that will not be eaten by either of us alone.

If I gave you the whole thing, you would tire of the

twinge after the seventh segment.

There are things I cannot say even to myself:

that some smiles make me curl into myself like a dead snake. My skin

has become porous and that this two-way seeping has given me a new color.

Watching the days crank lazily makes me crazy. The smile, the lurch backwards.

Feeling memory bundle around me like a blanket making each step slower. Kneeling

in front of things and wondering why they feel like old friends.