Then what is the maraschino cherry in Jason’s Manhattan, bathed by the liquor’s ice-water honey. What is she doing
here singing, what is it to her, to me, to be
with her. What is it to her or me, is it like the back porch last week budded with ladybugs hungry to winter, the ceiling’s & the posts’ & the railings’ stain of black-flecked redness, the spraying of pheromones, if thickening is another way to gather
fortune. Everything dies on a wave. If at the peak rides superfluous sugar, the wave’s valley flowering with clapping. As the lyric’s last note tapers to low hills, goldenrod. If this is the applause,
this is the applause, the syrup thick, blood-thick preservative. The singer blood, singing blood singing another song in which the mother is bathing like a single, unspoiled fruit.
The icon on cable sets his music on fire under the stiff black wing of his grand piano. He hammers
the keys like meat, prods them with his sticks, they start & fall apart like ash or shadow, the white & black of heat. When all the audience hears the
keyboard startle, see the blue insistence of the icon’s fire, they are blown like seedling silk, & you rise from the carpeted floor’s lint-froth and blue burrs,
making & unmaking your hands, your teeth. Afterward, you go outside &
gather up the blades of maple pods in two fistfuls of dry molt. You fling them ahead of you,
run as they chopper back to the scuffs of gray-white gravel, as though you are the swiftest of all seeds.
The little kid drives a toy cab whose body is a grocery cart that his father is pushing. The little kids next door sashay through the tank of an above-ground pool. Every little kid is learning to have a singing voice, to lose it. Various collisions like dishes being washed,
the splash of toy brass. Boy soprano. When you came home from San Juan, you said you had a dream of our bodies combined in a little girl. This was just momentary. The little kid’s blinded cry in the marco
polo game. For the rest of her life she will shut her eyes and call out the same name, confusing the answer with the touch of a place where she can go no further. This is all just a catalogue of appearances
and most will be. Before the last word, a question asked by a passing man. Light obsessively polishes the two rare nickels of his irises. Our faces are shy in different ways. The last word is forgotten.