If my mouth would open, such delights
forthcoming—a red balloon inflating,

two doves that coo Adieu, Adieu, a rabbit
hatless but polite, a dignified parade of frogs,

otters roiling in a flowing carpet—
slippery, all of it, most untrue but better for

each misprision. I say the word is dark, but
I mean world, and by dark I meant

let go—it hurts, this pressure, how my arms bruise
over and then bloom pink and clear again.

Very the pain, or verify—either way,
eyes see things differently afterwards,

drowning seems drawing, death made dearth,
while homophones destroy me. You turn

ergo U-turn and terns cartwheel above, such
racket. What do I love—what’s lost, the words

eked out and etched into the window pane,
lucid in the breath, but gone again

once warmth recedes. I hang on to facsimile,
slim volumes stacked to form a ladder

to poetry—wait, I meant poverty.