I drink this coffee, ejecting caffeine into veins.
    I am not you, but I am some equivalent,
naked as the day, palpable exactly, recall
In a dream
surging through the mind’s shuttlecock,
this coffee instructs, I take my cape
     & wad it into a ball, throw it as high as I am able,
        decoding the air,
    stomach growling like Raskolnikov’s (recall)—

    as dirty as Wellingborough streets,
& today there are people
walking those streets, dirtying themselves,
looking for a carnival ride, looking to disarm
& soak themselves in a feel-good moment,
    regardless of dehydration, sickliness . . .

With precision, I peeled your flowers’ petals
as thin as stigmatism.
            When it comes to love,
I am as blind as night. Mindless
onrush—menopause or men-that-pause?

I am paused. I remain in this skeptical spectacle
position, sipping this slowly cooling coffee,
    mid-afternoon approaching,
needles lost in hay,
a king’s burning crown trailing the queen—

    staggered as from a physical impact,
the total momentum at the beginning
shedding the worst impressions,   
    held captive by my own
noticeable lack of a throbbing Belonging.


If Rachmaninoff had of been my neighbor
       I would have been invaded upon like a ruinous
Emperor, except that the mending of my pains
       would come with a series of firsts: Music,
beginning, with a heightened awareness of sound
       (—what L. Bernstein said was like a spasm
in the middle of his mind—) would shovel down
       into me, pull out the clamouring doorbells
from my loneliness, & Sergei, next door,
       magisterially cutting incisions into particulars—
my ears like climbing roses upon melodic
       trellises, transfiguring my weaknesses—
Adagios heavy in the beat of my heartricity,
       like walking heavy in shallow sea-sand,
consuming one’s body.

If Rachmaninoff had of been my neighbor,
       unquenchable sound would tap upon the
windowpanes, becoming petroglyphs—
       a new vocabulary—as rhapsodic as his love
for Natalia Alexandrovna Satin. Satin, silk,
       exhibited: evidence of my sashaying,
mimicking sound, ventriloquisms tanked full—
       his bittersweet symphonies keeping the fireplace
lit in the Winter. In Spring, flowers blooming
       by sound alone, on-stage in their opening,
further furnishing tones, fecund. Then, to open
       the doors wide—the windows salted of melody—
standing, listening to the music tasting the flavors
       with my mouth wide open; my heart seemingly
multiplying, sweetened by the recursivity
       of the dissonances that vocally branch through
the air’s unseen monocle, refracting the unthinkable.