it’s a weird lip in her voice

grassy, like she’s standing on 


a hill near a city park bathroom

in a part of her home


city you haven’t 

seen. she’s taken


you seven times and you 

keep noting the ballfield 


and water treatment facilities

spotting the modular suburbs


and dairy farms from the reservoir 

ridge: you’ll go again next week


to ask her dad’s permission 

: old school, you drive and listen 


on the Schuylkill Expressway: 

having your ride home conversation 


with her, when you park 

you’ll see her shape with 


the second floor light behind it 

through the windows : 


for now you listen and layer your

affective city over the actual one


stuck in some traffic, drumming

your fingers to no music 


you’re between a poultry truck

and a harmless white sedan  


sip from an occasional water bottle 

playing I-spy with the highway 


citing some items in her voice

plus a few along the road 

bottling facilities 

YMCA campground


area codes of the stars 

people getting speckled 


in the multistory brewpub 

pausing on their long flat drive 


then you’re picturing what 

the region’s aerial grid would be 


if every box of diapers

or boil in bag creamed spinach 


lit up in trunks 

and stomachs and domiciles 


: you’re in the grocery with a 

parking lot, a block from home 


salad, three limes, Bazooka Joe

with the comics 


on your time or off it :

off dairy for a week, see if


it helps: you’re trying out 

being tireless, what if 


every sweat you sweat or file

you filed that day appeared 


in the information of your eye 

or your body temperature did 


or the sentence “my hands are 

cold” or my tax refund 


is sufficient, or we can angle 

toward the music well enough 


to keep going now that we 

dependably get each other to dance