Like a scar across the earth,
Like my fingers were peasants,

I touch where the penknife had
Plunged & stood. I watch you

Watch an oil tanker, its port-
Side scrawled in wide, fat lettering

I’d mistake for hieroglyphics
If not for your soft I can read that

Punctuated by a long, hard sigh.
Your neck’s scent conjures ore-

Rich dirt, stands of date trees
As far as my eye can’t fathom but

In spades, they shaded our porch,
Lined our colonnade even when

You throw a pebble at nothing
You’d want to haul to the next life

After this next life: this chemical plant
We’ve trespassed, we’re boozed.

Stories pour forth & I hear
Zilch, just imagine you shrieking

As if you found where hell came
To die, & now you bear its etching

On your fleshy bulb of knee
My hand keeps brushing. Dawn’s

Past. You want eggs. From
A booth we scrutinize passers-by:

This one caustic, this soul-shattered,
Most just bored with their lives.

The sun is full through the window.
I don’t recall your last name.