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What She Does Not Understand

That I am walking home in a city so old

its stone shares substance

with its darkness. That loneliness

sinks leaden and still older

through both. That my throat

aches dense to stretch

and die strangled on her body.

That it cannot swallow her whole.


That towers and walls fold inward

to silhouette against the bruised,

deep morning. That they remember a color

humming wet behind that sky-

that I have splashed toward its single note

and tasted only murk.

That she herself mouths syllables of harmony,

sprays them back between her teeth

like shit, or a giggle.


That a shit-dripping pigeon with its beak

can pull veins out of marble

or a man’s leg. That stone dries

to mere crust, can shear and crumble

and only sharpen its corners

for your spine. That a stone sky,

the kind I wish for, a vault,

would entomb us both. That we’d cling

blind in the night of its belly,

cramped, squalid as lichen.