You stand at the mirror. You take your hair in one hand
and pull it to the side like a single, broken
wing. You cut the left side, then the right; clip
the back like a boys; a ragged line across the neck.
Maybe you find a man who admires your tattoos.
Maybe you have lunch with an old friend, talk up
the past: the tidepools, the whales migrating
up the coast. How you are both waiting
for the storms dressing the sky to pass.
Maybe you learn from the anarchy of trees.
Maybe you sit around waiting for the news:
at last the war is over, America is free.
Everyone you know leaving such passionate debris.
Everyone going out at night to stand alone
and in the rain. You bump into a friend at a party
or the loud weather of a bar and you each pour out
your nonsense. He tells you sex is an addiction;
the will is disconnected, lethal in nature.
So you let go your beliefs:
the pacemaker was invented by Greatbatch
boundaries are always moving
the will is the meat of the apple.
You walk the cobbled path in the garden. The hibiscus
the pagoda roof, burning in the slow, red dawn.
You blame the childhood of a man, the light stitched
along the river, the news, the one beside you.
The only prayer is to continue.