Don’t fall asleep in the bathtub. Your dreams
will absorb the water and grow larger than your life.
You’re so adept at imagining how things are supposed to be,
you cannot see what is present before your eyes:
a nest of prismatic bubbles floating beneath the faucet;
your reflection in the silver of the faucet, tiny, warped,
and wonderfully vulnerable; the gem-sized spider
dangling further and further from the ceiling
on her impossible thread, landing on the rim
of the tub before dancing out of sight;
the shut and locked door; the privacy
of your own nakedness.
Don’t fall asleep in the bathtub. Focus
on your breath, the miracle of it.
You can’t bury yourself under this blanket.
That would be drowning.
DIDO IN THE CIRCLE OF LUST
I love it when the breath gets knocked
out of me. I love it when the hellwinds
spin me like a globe. This is the Field
of Lamentation, but I never wail;
I just whirl and whirl, a dancer
in Hell’s endless ballet, whipped
into motion by gyres of arousal.
My heart is broken
free of whatever bonds still held
when the last of my blood hissed
into the pyre’s flames. I was strong
until he touched me;
then I sank
into the fire, my ashes blown
across the sky, soft as a flock
of doves. I took my life
as he once took my hand:
with full, anxious desire.
Now a vaster thrill sweeps
me off my feet, and I am strong again,
ignited by adrenaline, my face
warmed red by the brisk slap of storm.
I never wail.
I let the winds wave me through the air,
an awful flag. I swing my arms
like battle axes. My hair floats
like a ghost, and I’m no longer heavy.