Good god, your hat is amazing.
Please hold onto it. Please secure
the woollen strings with the baubles
tight beneath your chin. Not too tight.
I know this is a world in which it’s easy
to forget your sneakers at the door
and wander barefoot, maybe naked,
to the corner store to exclaim
that there’s a man inside your neck
licking his one long fingernail, honing
it like a scythe along your spine.
But he won’t barter for a round blue
lollipop, for a two-pack of batteries,
a cigarette, or a small yellow pail.
I know that Wednesday
is as good a day as any to gather
all your underpants and toss them out
the third story window, or the eighth,
the nineteenth, twenty-second, forty-sixth!
What heights these cities will allow.
Please do not hie after them. Please keep
your arms and legs inside the vehicle
so I can seal you in. You and I,
we’re going to take a drive together north
until we’re shadowed by sharp walls
of the glacier-carved valley, until the moon
glows above us like the ancient stone it is.
We will allow the perfect flakes
of snow to asterisk our arms like markings
gesturing to notes we cannot write
or think or say. It is cold. I don’t need
to see your hair to trust that it is there
curling out of you like a sombre animal.
You’ll confess you took your name
for granted, never questioned
the significance of capital letters.
And I will lay upon your shoulder
like a field of emerald grass.