You were the one I met over a letter
after the one I brought home from Greece
before the one I took from my class in a bed sheet.
When Ted sent me the first of your notes
I ripped it, leaving only a word
like cleft or chin.
Pieces of parchment
smearing the ink on my hand.
It was the summer of concrete sizzling with bacon,
my shoulder peeling cancer.
But, somewhere in this
incestuous heat, I began to long for your scars
dwindled through fragments like dew on my skin.
I tell you I write poems
you read books
We eat strawberries on beds
over lettuce and onion grass.
Our abilities had saved us
A pale face peered out the door.
Midnight and baby-snaps, prophets and prime ministers
were glowing in an inescapable mist
The conductor pulled the bell strap
as the picture gaped at us.
I wake up in pressed flowers
the Puerto Rican left me for beauty
as if I were his tapa or fetish in flash fiction.
I’m rubbing sleep from my eyes
listening to patterned breathing
over emptiness and cold pillows in this
landscape of unseasonable tourists.