And so, that summer I brought back with me
from the Pacific splendor a balance of nerves,
another story: my frail feet neglecting the paths
of unraveling hours, and then the war started.
Between my thumb and index finger now
another squalor of steroids-- the variety fashioned
to ravage super-abundant immunities. Imagine
my first love swallowing on the sunrise subway
his sixth shot of espresso as he imagines me
scratching my own name into a layer of moist
sidewalk cement, grinning, and the southern sun
tending to the skin of my bare shoulders bleached
by the northwest winter. Anyway, no one that I love
knows where I am anymore.