Acorn-brown, the girl’s new nipples
draw the young men’s rooster eyes.
A woman is fitting a man to her mouth,
breathing fire, holding on for dear life.

Green almonds in their shells: she
knifes them open one at a time and
hands him a slick teardrop, cool white
tasting cool white, nothing

compares with such austerities, although
the skull’s honeycomb of bone
will break their hearts, who need hearts
like a bird’s wishbone–to bend, unbend

at every feathery beat–wishbone hearts,
or something fleet and light like an ostrich’s
leg-bone, that bears him to where–panicked
with grief–he can bury his head in sand.

Papyrus light: a scarf with black parrots on it
lifts in the breeze. And a real rare bird
about to fly: head in the clouds, his life
shrouded in the daylight he keeps breaking.