He is reaching around her – claw foot tub, oceanography. I could say
islands, but instead – weigh stations,
always this or that, always weather.
She is wondering
what it might be like to take a class at the University, what might have been
the ending to the movie she fell asleep to the night before.
Her knee is a mountain where she rests her mouth,
her back a climbing rope.
He will cup her breast like
cupping a sparrow out of its nest –
ribs, astronomy. This
is a many porcelained sea and that thick arm, those thick fingers –
are we beasts? Her dress is
abandoned on the tile floor, her eyes another body she blinks.
She wonders what it is like when men go on long trips out in the Atlantic –
do their maps show constellations? She imagines
a line dropping into the sea –
There will come a day when she lays back her whole body submerged and
thinks of him with the cool of her spine, the same way
she thinks of taking the car out for a drive –
hand over hand, foot
in the divot of his chest.
She examines her toes through waters of the Pacific, sees
her reflection as a loud, tenuous sail.
His arm is a cloud of anxious birds tying knots behind her,
his wrist a league of switches.
She could stop this – as if
a house were made of twig,
as if her breasts were the sweet note of the church choir no one is sure they can reach.
But his hand lands on her like mist.
His palm is the warm light from the window.
His fingers are debris.