I'd lean close, my ear to her whisper and roar, her tongue scattered with stars. She'd belt her brassy voice over the waves' backbeat. No one sings better than her. Would she ever bite the inside of her cheek? Would she yell at the moon to quit tugging at her hem, or would she whistle, drop her blue dress and shimmy through space to cleave to that shimmer? What did she mean to say that morning she spit out the emaciated whale wearing a net for a corset? All this emptying on the sand. Eyeless shrimp. Oiled pelicans. Within her jaws the coral forests, glittering fish, waves like teeth, her hungry mortal brine.
Pulling out of Union Square station, the subway
sounds the first three notes of There's a place for us,
somewhere a place for us. A woman sits on me, shoves
her dim planet-face at mine and blames me
for not moving. My face half numb—
post-root canal. I want to incinerate her
with a blast from Shiva's third eye. But she
is Shiva, too. Give me back the luxury of blame.