Sewn straw, exact pattern. Fields of rice-sprigs
evenly set, a mile of herringbone tweed.
The town, a sea of gunmetal, fish-scale tiles.
By morning each floor a casserole of pillows,
coverlets, comforters, towels: flown nests. Imprint
of bodies, fading. They fold the beds away,
the room waits empty all day.
All day the bodies
circle, leaving no impression on each
other. Tooled in the foundry of the streets.
School-caps, factory-packed subway, miracle train:
one territorial imperative,
On his platform one yard square
perched on a roof that slopes in waves of tiles
up toward other tiled cascades, the karate student
for hours does running in place, deep knee bends
on his surfboard perch. All his free time to make
his body efficient, tight, exact, rising
and falling, mint piston pumping in its shaft.