A man from the phone company
hoists his great blue handset,
settling on the savage rhythms
it will accentuate for him.

I watch because I cannot listen.
In town, you’re buying something
you found last week, not hidden
in the library, as I’ve told him.

While he works, I see your paperwhite,
down-penciled belly until
another stone-eyed blackbird
has a go at our leafless grapes,

nearly as dark as it by now.
The man has taken no notice.
My heart goes out to hands like
his, like paws. I need their pity.