i wrote a manual last november: how to fall
in love, three easy steps.
first, be a ghost,
be silent and secret: your lips so dusty
that even coughing cracks
a new breath. then wait
for a boy to uncork into greying Fall days,
his eyes splashing wine, his voice
nervous and young;
you are just lightning in a plastic bottle.
you explode on step two:
he is two feet away, sitting on the edge of your bed,
sitting across the cafe, and you
are naked in his arms, in your head, blushing
in public places because the sex
is running through you like a river. he is
the wet parts of the piano, the pinned
wings of the butterfly,
the mathematical endings of your
because finally, step three, you are broken
open: he has a girlfriend, he has a life. you
cry on your bed for hours, letting the unsaid
things wallow up: they are sores in your mouth,
he is just a bug under glass.
I see him around and I keep him
empty. he is computer-generated;
he is twenty-first centuary fiction. I am
the one with the river,
with the wide wet plains.
I am the one