The dog licks my hand as I worry
about the left nipple
of the woman in the bathroom.
She is drying her hair, the woman
whose left nipple is sore.
We looked this evening
for diagonal cuts
or bite marks from small insects
that may be in our bed.
It is a good bed, a faithful bed.
A bed that won’t be hurt
by the consideration we gave
to the possibility of small
strong insects in our bed.
The blow-dryer sounds like a jet
taking off. The first time
I flew to Brussels, people began
the journey happy but ended
with drool on their shirts.
She is drying her hair
though she has never been to Brussels.
Drying her hair
though she could be petting a dog.
Drying her hair
while having red thoughts
about what the pain in her nipple means.
I would not dry my hair
in such a moment but I am bald.
The body of the woman
has many ways to cease
being the body of the woman.
I have one way
to be happy
and she is that way.
I would like to fly with her to Brussels.
We would not be put off by the drool.
This is what happens when people sleep.
We would buy postcards of the little boy
who saved Brussels when he peed on a fire.
We would be romantic in public places.
For the moment
these desires can best be furthered
by petting a dog.
I’m also working on this theory.
That sometimes a part of the body
That the purpose of prayer
is to make the part of the body
that sometimes just hurts
the little toe or appendix.
Something vestigial or redundant.
Something that can be jettisoned.
I have no reason
to use the word cancer
while petting a dog.
Here is a piece of a second
during which a jet is not flying
nor is it on the ground.
I’m working on a theory
that no one can die
inside that piece of a second.
If you are comforted
by this thought you are welcome
to keep it.