On the Occasion of Answering
Before it is too late to talk about love,
My mother wants to know if someone, a boy,
has stopped, even for a second, to look at me
If maybe, in this foreign land,
while the roof of the world slowly suspends,
threatening to collapse,
A boy, a man, a gentle, kind being
has paid any attention to me-
this difficult heart, this wilding path,
this angry body tearing through itself
There is not a lover who sees a lonesomeness this thick
and wants to touch it.
All around me there’s the kind of fires
that turns the sky a dangerous amber.
A virus erupting into a body.
My eighty-year-old neighbor feels her
vertebrae shrink, each disk pressing down
on the next, rubbing against the cord
For a surgery, the possibility of stroke,
of bleeding to death
We count the days like they were fruit,
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