Can I Tell You

by WLS

what it will be like for men
to take from you. How you
will hold your body toward them
like a plate of food, your eyes
bone-white. Empty bowls.
How you will want not to,
but your fingers will fumble
to turn on the burner
every time. I will give you
the answer. The neural path
cut by grief. You won’t have time
to lose a thing. Never alone.
Peering into empty storefronts,
hands cupped to siphon the light.
You will see buds again. Hungry,
green fingers that try, like you.
You will ride the bus and no one
will ask, where is home? You will turn
small circles in the public square
day-long, looking behind each bush
for a soft, brown bed between
the fronds. No one will ask,
have you found it? It will always
be this way: hard and long.
The dream of an easy childhood
woke long ago, rubbing its
eyes in a pot-holed parking lot.
Where he touched you
beneath your diaper. Before
you had a word for pleasure.
Before you had a word for air.

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