The Influence of Anxiety
They weigh more than yesterday, their bodies
engorged by a grand contradiction, thinning skin
swelled like this breakfast sausage askitter
in the pan. I’m learning over your shoulder
how you bring yourself pleasure, fascinated
at the deftness of your silences, breathing
even held to a fine point. A beautiful girl
is diminished. Somewhere their laughter
descends from the highest ceiling to turn
light bulbs into eyes, fans into empty pockets,
and leaves mirrors just as they are. Smells I praise
as ikons of you are stationed around the room.
A pack of seven dogs deceives the street
into being a veldt cracked by drought;
they surround my car with the prolonged slowness
of the starving. They have been emptied
from their leashes, and they weigh more in motion.
Sometimes the sky closes with the peripheral
notion of rain, and you are nowhere to be seen.
“The Influence of Anxiety” is from City of Regret, (Zone 3 Press, 2007).