The Public Job of Blood
What we wondered as kids about the light
in the icebox we’re wondering now
about love. The apple digesting itself
in the pantry. The corpse in need
of a shave. All that goes on when no one’s
around to see it or say what it means.
All the king’s horses dead on their feet,
the fastidious glue of dreams. Last night,
tucked away in our separate beds, did we
fall out of love into sleep? Did the stars
boil down to a soupy incandescence?
Did the moon rot away like rancid meat?
Romance is a perishable gourmet
gyp, like those dyed flakes of fish face
fobbed-off as crab. If the public job of blood
is to bleed, its private job is to scab.
From Moon Go Away, I Don’t Love You No More (Miami UP, 1994); first published in Ploughsharesabout the author