Do you lose time?
My thirty sins are filed away in thirty sturdy folios.
1. Truth chafes.
2. I can’t miss work. I’ve washed my hands twice since noon,
and the need to return is returning.
I am an endothermic animal.
My ten, strict claws warm up
before I place a nickel in the slot. I have ten
ways to suffer. The desk is just a drawer away
from watering plants until evening,
trickling my palms under the flashing water.
Counting them is tedious. Choose a pretty tab to pull apart –
the pink one is not sipping, the yellow, deflowered.
Will you self-destruct?
In the wash I found ten pennies.
I’m past it.
Am I self-aware? Am I selfish?
In box 1: check yes.
In box 2: check yes.
In box 3: I’ve done it all.
I’m quite sure the groan is interior.
Even the fibers of my breast knot up.
In box 4: twice daily.
Do you sleep well?
I read a book about hunger.
My mouth was drier then, and tinier
mouths, on the pages, were blisters
cracking into cuts, undoing young faces.
In the streets I stumbled
upon a stake and pulled it,
pulsing, from the rock.
Its pronate body was a passionate plea,
and I put it back with caulk and glue.
This is a mental aroma.
My million nerves are bounced
inside their shells, feeling
the cheese of hands, the afterbirth
of money. I have never given up on sulfur.
Even that stick and those children stink.
Have you lied?
Say you fell: your fracture
a result of a prostitute rock
convincing your pocket a part.
Grass filled your face
like a feedbag. Say you fell.
You left your pocket
coins counted and rolled
When you fell, say
your hands were stumbled
under your body. You feel ashamed.
Say you do.