in the days after the power went out
we left the stove clock remained off by
four hours & eighteen minutes.
everything had been a new dark.
electric tea lights on the counter
blinked like orange eyes. hardly lit anything.
your face in the glow
of our tiny fallible flames
deep with shadows. somehow
the train still rushed by,
sent a howl through our apartment.
shadows shoved each other
from room to room. my room
with no windows sealed itself up.
a bruise or sore. speckled carpet.
knees in the closet. hands
on the ceiling. you, shifting
in your own room with
window cracked open. smell of
fire. the buildings that burned
up the street. in some sense
they still burn. who will
put me out if i become those buildings?
stains on our irises
from watching. streak of orange.
streak of bronze. sink water.
hallway getting longer or louder.
i did not know you anymore.
in the dark, my face dripped
like wax. your eyes were wide
as quarters. when you touched me
you might as well have been touching
a pile of ash--the skeletons
of the buildings. i was so close
to letting the air
do what it could
& there you were
walking the hallway
with your staircase feet.
second floor became fourth & eigth.
soon we lived above the city
in a huge spire. i said to you
"there is the ocean" & "there is
the park" & "there is
my body on the ground."
no, not the last one.
we flickered. where would be go
if not here? we said
someday we'll leave this place
& in the morning
the sun was ashamed &
the clock was still behind.