Bodies thrown, pets un-owned, it’s socially accepted
that you’ll be feeling like this; part of coffee, pith, rejected.
The layer underneath, but not the layer that you need;
the day-old grinds, the white in limes, the red in eyes, the bleed
you feel between your skins after it’s felt inside your back.
Lines blurred, blankets furled, defensive of your tact
when showing off your strength turns into showing off your bends -
the weakest part, a joint, a dart, attempts to make amends.
Limbs ill-fitting, bone-links cracking, lines across your nails
from milk-drink-quitting, friend-forgetting or -regretting pales
beside the thoughts or worries on the topic of yourself:
contagious, unaccompanied, accustomed to the shelf.
But unaccepting of the thought of spades or shovels or a sift
through crumbled surface, hearts and clubs. I try to find or lift
the corners of the manuscript that won’t result in knowing
more than I permit myself to. No, the essay structure’s showing
when I’d rather keep it strange, remain a mystery to some
instead of handling chins, stuttering “It’s all been done,
there’s nothing left that I could do.” Keep trying. Don’t succeed.
The layer underneath, but not the layer that you need.