She said, undressing, to love is to be
an orphan hiding from a hurricane in
a church made of glass. Impractical, I
said, & I don't like metaphors in bed
anymore, in my old age, any more than I
like spiders. Then, as we made love, she
said, you're an orphan, hiding from a hurricane.
Oh, I said, are you a church made of glass?
Well, she said, I'm a little cracked, aren't I?
Outside, cars slithered by, oblivious, exhaust
fumes tingeing human summer air. You're
cracked alright, & so is your sister, I see—
baited her to collapse onto my chest,
throwing stones from my glass church, side-armed—

so, she had me on her chopping
block. A month later: the City Hall court
yard blazed with summer heat. We
were over, that was it. She wanted,
she said, some order & discipline in
her life. Chinatown simmered under
our feet; I looked (futilely) for a Go
board; she bought some incense. She
turned quickly, I tried to kiss her; she
resisted; it was close. Two brains tried
to coalesce into one, about love & us.
Epochs passed; I've got order & discipline
right here, in these lines, Ruth. I trust
you understand. Much of the rest is dust.