You’ll like my big-girl outfit—
just make sure you get the signals right.
Once the collar’s set
and the cuffs, nod once to put ice in

my veins, twice and your kisses
turn to riddles, to favors punished.
Bedtime maxim vanished from the books,
under vows to make infraction sing.

Then harness me—for breaking—
and whisper to the docile dray
in heavy guise: uproot me here.
Pass quickly on the stairs

a girl undressing—you—
now hasten to the idol.
Do not take another step.
You’re free to go, if you wish

—it’s best at twilight—
and wait to be questioned.
I see it in the air,
permission somehow stolen,

I don’t understand who’s there
in my place, a star like a blueprint
spreading from nail to calf,
an image of the engine. Tell me.