Because I am not married, I have the skin of an orange that has spent its life in the dark. Inside the orange I am blind. I cannot tell when a hand reaches in and breaks the atoms of the blood. Sometimes a blackbird will bring the wind into my hair. Or the yellow clouds falling on the cold floor are animals beginning to fight each other out of their drifting misery. All the women I have known have been ruined by fog and the deer crossing the field at night.
Copyright© 2005 by Jason Shinder. First published in The American Poetry Review, November/December 2005. From Stupid Hope (Graywolf, 2009). Appears with permission of the Literary Estate of Jason Shinder.