Better this
than starlets crouched on the sill
singing the bravery of you, O the bravery
of all things is a lie, is a lie—

                    and better you know
than leave yourself again
                     in the full of that bucket
from which the ills
of an amplified life, through you, commence,

their seeds straining into junipers
of the wallpaper,
into the witchwork of the chimney,
the burned faces of a thousand shingles, all
of which were
already here when the bombs hit
like needlepoint—
                    and bombs are a lie, bombs are a lie—
and always the still-still older hurt,
                                        the one which made

from the darkness, the light, adamantine boats
onto which clambered the last survivors
of a bomb (still a lie),
shuttling them like two gamecocks, two wolves,
two porpoise, two sheep, two fennel

into this city, which you do not depend upon
but which simmers
                    in the bravery of you, O the bravery
which depends on you—be well, be well—

and in the places you go, in which the tortures
of a thousand starlets begin,
                                                  be well.