She got sick even though the moon is supposedly everyone’s nightlight. I thought,
Nessun dorma. My heart banged down the stairs like an anvil.

The sex in Venice tore open the curtains before dawn.
Against your abdomen, my pelvis feels like a crucible.
Say anything serious like chemo and I’ll respond with the follow up:
Why don’t we move to Egypt and buy a bunch of camels?
Why don’t we kick in the doctor’s teeth?

She looks like Pavarotti on stage sweating
under the lights. She is all in her feelings, meaning
it is for her survival. No… you definitely can’t translate
the book of Jeremiah with a mouth full of painkillers
but I’ve watched her sing. And sweat
straight through my blazer, the one borrowed
for the show she had to cut her hair like a boy’s.
While you sleep in the big Venetian bed,
I try the blazer on, unwashed months later,
sitting in the balm of her clothes:

Fire tornadoes in Brazil make blind men see. Ice on the other hand
is a small miracle. All she needs
is a small miracle.—I am no better for my religion— 

She and I are back in Luxor, and mangoes are holding the bruise of youth
green to their skin. You never think of the mosquitoes
present in the soil, hunting the air, skirting along the water.
You don’t think that mosquitoes will bite your feet
till you can’t walk,
so swollen and full is the fruit.

I tell you she is ill, and you hang me
over your big arms and soothe me
with geneticist words. You make me wet
when you talk about hell this way. Except the lover you are
pales next to the sex I had in Luxor, which was not sex really
but a mango opened by the machete. I asked for the pit too.
The half that was my sex, I kissed out
with juice-stung face
till I was crying and stoning myself at the same time.



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