It ends because the beginning won’t jumpstart
again: red smudge of a mouth, lipstick everywhere
the afterthought a comet leaves on its way
out. What makes this moment unfold like a fine
woman raising herself up from the bathroom floor?
Honky-tonk in the honeyed brown of an eyeball?
Perfume & its circus of heart-shaped introductions?
It ends because the needle always winds up in
the lead-out, like a man pawing around for broken
spectacles after he wakes in the world’s rubble.
Hand over hand he paws, through stilted guitar
picks & abandoned stilettos, raised skirts & rocks,
glasses as chipped & smudged as the topography
of a skipping record. He could be Albright
himself, foraging the still-life swish of low-rise
tutus & skyscrapers cracked in the twisted
aftermath of a smile. Even without glasses,
he remembers her in high style: magnanimously
coming down the blue & violet threads of night,
her green dress clashing with the bathroom tile.