Little Cake

 16th-century Prosthetics (1564) PDR HAND reszd

Oh for a special order of operatives
who could manage the routes of pain, tricking
it perhaps into circumnavigating
the center in you where you are holding out
with only a rag and a salad fork with which
to defend yourself. But pain travels its own
tricky path, arrives but never really leaves,
from time to time relents to let you see
its absence only signals its return
with fresh armies and replenished supplies
to fortify its occupation, to pull up
the bridge over its moat, meanwhile
that twittering outside about who feels pain,
how pain feels, how they feel about having pain–
as if it’s something one has when anyone
who knows can tell you that pain goes inside you
and locks the door, makes you its little cake,
burns up your life to clear a way to
the cupped edge of its inside world.


Black Butterflies

We waited to hear and never did—
now winter comes and waiting ends
or all there ever is is waiting.
We’d have settled for mere hailing or
old news or old recriminations—
we long ago gave up on love declared
and other things we thought we knew.
Nights by the fire it’s the past I see—
my dresses and my hats and boots, things
you burned before you burned my books.