How to Forget an Old Lover
Ride to the amusement park in a cinderblock ambulance.
There, unfold the wings of an accordion dressed in lint.
Inside you will find a small brass key.
If it makes you feverish, fill a basin
with Mother's milk and pour it onto your feet.
When the swelling subsides
wring a dishrag onto a clump of moss.
This is how you forget.
When you wake startled beneath a waterfall
unscrew your fingertips and pack the sockets tight
with wool and cotton batting
to keep the timberwolves away.
Don't go back to sleep.
Don't leave your scrapbook out in the rain.
Don't play dominoes with your loafers uncovered
or dare to scrub the soot off your thighs:
someone will get hurt.
Someone will march out of the fog
brandishing an empty wallet
to slap you in the cheek, but don't let it faze you:
stockpile your polished slabs of granite
and chisel them into shapes
that only monastery boys dream of.
When the tigers come for you-- and they will--
throw them scraps torn off your arms and chest.
Throw them also the meaty bulk
left sweating beneath your mattress
even should it kick and plead
and scratch at your face
with nails greyer than a moth's last breath.