Bathroom Pieces with Miles Davis Quintet
After the saxophone scratches in under the bathroom door,
crosses green and white linoleum to settle around our feet,
you tell me of your lovers, three you had forgotten, or nearly,
till now. You watch my eyes in the mirror when you give me
the names. There is no change. With each word your world
unsteadies itself a bit more. I listen for all details. My head
is full of naked bodies, women & men. I hear them moan.
They whisper your name.
If I slip between the edges of these words and fall through,
will you promise to find me? Will you tongue me with your
Words come out of us like geese headed south. They beat
their wings through a hidden sky, and find the way out, and go.
We call to them to come back, but they never do. Watch out
for that early snow, we say, but they dont listen for us.
They listen for the wind. It tells them all they need to know.
My words are stones in a sack tied to your feet. The deep
water is silence.
We stop talk. We close these eyes, feel with these hands.
Were lovers again. Everything outside these bodies is frozen,
an immense block of ice, drifting over waves that stretch far
into the cold. Here, our blood roils.
Sometime during the piano break the clock quits.
In a basket by the tub, a sea horse guards pathetic shells of
soap that crowd there like tourists to watch the dry sponge.
One starfish, always the outsider, creeps unnoticed along the
You dry your eyes, tossing in the tissue. Your voice rushes
over me like water gurgling toward some dark, uncertain place.
The piano swerves away from the beat to descend a solitary
scale as though it were searching for a hidden door, as though
silence were its only reason to be understood in the end.
The sink is quiet now. One shy drop of water, like a three-
toed sloth, hangs from the faucet, waiting for us to finish.
Our bodies bend on the curve of that water. And if it drops,
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