we knew it was time to close the building.
Fathers in their open-backed gowns, their Pacemakers
flashing warnings to planes and come-hithers
or moons. Those in the infectious wards kept
drifting toward them. The quarantine signs hung
welcoming fliers at the baggage claim at JFK.
the viruses coating the blistered skin in down. Gooseflesh.
the amputees. Watching their sex was like watching
wandering. The mothers in Labor and Delivery were
They’d been staring at ceilings, pressing tectons closed
They could inhale past that. But it was the mud and the saliva
the mother there was no going back now. Volcanoes permit
is the door out, not other. Sidewalks are for suburbs, not planets.
and further into the stratosphere to find new sky. The babies
a chance this blue turns Jay and flight becomes a regressed chance for air.
sun it is as sterile and white as linen.
rupture. The ground underneath is seething,
it now (it is not flat enough. We’ll have to bring
for just these breaking occasions. The ironing can
tell him that it’s rotten but he wants to feel the cool
with but stops and pleases. We know there is no
St. Charles is not on their map. I gave them directions—
is the one where the cars don’t run. But it turns night here
this city has already sold its share of the moon to a drought-
the ice packs are warm water and the sea under
of spackle and glue and sand for mixing. We’ll have
though he’s lying flat (The ironing has been waiting days now),
wounds him. We turn him over so he can’t feel a thing.