heat sensor

a love poem has been detected on the paremeter.
orange like the old planets & ambling on
its six legs. i used to put my hand to your forehead
& say, "you're burning up." you were like touching
a stove top what with all your atmosphere gazing 
& your need to wear sweaters even in the heart of summer.
a good friend is someone who always wants 
to be more. imagines the two of you
flying helicopter into sunset. hungry, 
a love poem will take whatever it can get--
rain boots & ice cream cones & even sometimes 
front doors. what is a memory but a love poem
waiting to happen? latent heat. i tried so so hard
not to think too much about you. filled a tub
with ice & laid down. felt all my goose-flesh.
tried to remember how old we are now & were then.
the love poem decapitates the mailbox.
snarls. roots in the garage for bicycles.
demands a conclusion. pearl necklace. melon rind.
i keep the front door locked. dead bolt. chain.
windows shut. love poem on the porch weeping 
with a shadow of your voice. saying, 
"don't you want this?" i don't fall for its trap
but i let myself picture you with your long straight hair
& you sandaled feet. arms hugging yourself tight.
i would let you take me anywhere in the world.
sunburn me in the river of rocks. become coals
dazzling in the red we bring out only for each other.
to get the love poem to leave, i make promises 
i can't keep. i say, "come back tomorrow 
& i'll be ready." i say, "i can't escape tonight." 
the love poem, distraught, will follow
my thumb's worth of hope. tumble back into the brush
& return when it remembers again what it was like
to kiss in the november night's cold. two girls.
only the heat of our bodies & the promise 
of another sun to turn the world tangerine. 

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