The inch worm in the window sill, curling
In a bank of light. Snow-soaked porch steps,
Old pinewood floors. The neck, the back –
My body bends into another body. Firelight
Bends around his shoulders, a half-moon
Around stars, around the tops of trees.
We are both the driver on dark highways
Breaking for bends in the road, and the river
Rushing over rocks toward the bend ahead.
What bends short, bends long –
Doesn’t break. Neck of tulip, waning
Clothes rod. And, yes, the rules.
Because the heart is not straight and narrow.
It curves, sometimes splinters into tributaries,
Carrying all the waste of a community of two:
Words like dead fish floating to the surface,
Gills closed, eyes fixed. But the mouth opens
Like a fresh bruise – purple, bell-shaped –
And you forget yourself, your heart
A wire hanger bending in someone’s hands.
Words: Leslie St. John