Rise and Fall
She forced you to carry ice for their whiskey, then shoved you out into the storm, and her white boyfriend came and caught you, drove you into the hill’s cold powder. The cabin lurched like a flogged Wyeth. Snow swirled. Years later you painted your room menstrual red, mirrored your ceiling, leaned against pillows and read a supermarket tabloid about a crowded streetcar hit by a meteor. You looked up, watched yourself shiver with cold and fear
Wind rustles the sea oats. Waves lap the cottage’s stilts. You touch my foot with your tentative foot. Your extremities are always cold. On his shadowed throne our baby squalls a warning. I face him, my smile radium. You take books on the Holocaust from my shelf, in denial throw them into the surf.
A blue crab scuttles across the sand. I want to smear the cosmetics from your face.
Heart shredded, my body dehydrates as we distance until my skin is ground chalk. The wealthy are feasting tonight. In a photo I’m expressionless, on stiff legs in front of a shuttered hotel. Your heartbeat is a tension in my chest.
There’s something better than this. I am keeping time for the planet with my internal organs.