Walking to get coffee,
I let my eyes linger on a man’s ass,
and sit where the long-torsoed barista
can see me.
In Paris, 1885, Olympia stared back,
white hand over pubic bone, ankles crossed,
pink orchid behind one ear. A cat at her feet.
A black woman in the door, holding a bouquet.
At 3:08 this morning, a child yelled for four minutes from the building across the street. I didn’t mind—it was too hot, I wasn’t sleeping—but I was worried. I walked onto our astroturfed balcony and called to him. Quietly. I didn’t want to wake anyone else. Hey. Hey! Hey. I tried not to lean on the white-rotting railing. I tried to know what I was doing.
The child held a full water-bottle out between the bars of his window, and turned it. Back and forth. Over and over: back and forth. All the while, yelling—a bright, unformed noise that rose and fell as his thin wrist twisted. For four minutes.
The bottle was the kind that comes in packs of sixteen: plastic thin, lumpy and easy to malform, label peeled off. When he turned it just right, it blazed.
On the way home:
a woman’s hourglass curve
under lace. I love waists.
Vulgar, they called her,
and gave her guards.
I don’t want to fuck
anyone. I’m pretty sure