Home now I examine the nose-down

fly on my floorboards

the fine hairs on its legs

a broken umbrella folding unfolding

What passes through the keyhole of a look

twist of your ribcage as you turn to me

debts you’re saddled with and debts you ride

We try to keep the radiant capsule buried

we try not speaking

the lake we watch over watches back

You show me photos of water

and we get caught on the surface

it calls us up quick as champagne

as weightless

I give you a stone you shine in your mouth like a plum

Taped above your desk, a quote about vogueing

I photograph while you’re at work

so I can be with it later

“for when we are no longer ashamed of ourselves,”

—is that now?

“we will be free to imagine

an order of our own”

The stone you give me sits at the deepest point of my pocket

Our skins touch

the stone’s and mine

From nine floors up the lake’s ethereal

green gown refuses to end

but we know it has edges

Now surround my hand entirely

sweetly crowd me

When the creditors call

I answer and tell them about

my debts to your mind

the dark reds of the carpet the sun wrings pink

and other forms of adoration

Blue underglow on the fly’s body or a blues

from an adjacent room

“Tribute” Copyright © 2019 by Ari Banias. Originally published in 580/Split. Used with the permission of the poet.