In the dark of night
I left my home (I live
alone). Up at 4 to catch Delta 6
through the dark
brights on. Parking Level P3
Column 44, hot radiation
pagoda, one may elect
instead to use a female. “Use of This Technology
Is Optional.” I opt
for human hands on my body, opt
to use yr woman hours, gentle female
expertise, and non-threatening. Nothing
to see here, move along, fellow
pat me down, light swift touch, blue latex female
fingers: I will feel around your
waistband now with the backs
of my hands. These are the backs
of my hands you are feeling now at the join
of groin and thigh, light
touch. Now you’re going to feel me
at your breast: that’s the back
of my hands. I am a little high
already, relaxed, bereft, .5 mgs of Xanax
washed down in the parked car
with water purified at my kitchen
tap in the middle of the night, Pür water filter, green
indicator light indicating
purity and filtration, salvation, overdetermination.
The first leg in my sleep, crooked
neck, drool, passive
two hours. In a leather recliner
I await the thing I want, this aesthetician, licensed,
to trim my cuticles, lacquer
my nails vermilion. While I wait
this patented XpresSpa chair, miracle, does the work
of a licensed
masseuse: firm pressure rolling
under my weight expertly, tirelessly, like an amazing human, symmetrical
along the symmetrical
muscles supporting my spine, firm
human pressure from living balled up fists
that live inside the leather, that
Katelyn is a history buff.
Air force brat in the airport
spa, she’s never flown
anywhere. Nowhere. She likes to learn
about things, she says, the
that happened and you can
find out weird stuff about
them. She is taking great pains
with my fingers. I find out, weirdly, how
lucky I really am, with my inexhaustible liberal
arts education and equipoise, critical
apparatus and layers, grids, volume-free
rubric of speechless apprehension I received
from the library. I mention to Katelyn
card catalogs, she is currently into
the Titanic. Katelyn says she can recall
the smell of books: When she was a child
her father would take her
to the Barnes & Nobles [sic], snicker, where he
would read up on history. Back then she was into
Arts n’ Crafts. Hours n’ hours,
she tells me, I am agog, how she still
recalls the “smell of the books, all the new books.” She is
nostalgic. Titanic. She does a terrible
job on my nails—you never know what you will get,
what you paid for, should all her training
pay off—they are splintered and distressed, she has filed
against the grain, they are squared and gloppy, she has colored
outside the lines, I thank her and tip her
profusely. I have been made
late for boarding and sprint lightly
along the moving
walkway to Terminal C. Paging Passenger
You’re the smartest cat I know
You make eye contact through the window when you want to come in from a frosty mudroom.
You climb up on a screen door and hang there like a bear rug when you want to come in from the sunny porch.
You make love to your wife’s best friend, you make her love you, cock and eyeballs, really love.
You eat the foods you like until you are sick, retching in the hallway, but you will not eat the foods you don’t like at all—not one morsel.
You make mixed CDs and deliver them in the mail and in pockets and with balls in hands directly.
Then all is awry—loss of you, hole through the wall, fixed erotic absence. Hole all the way through the wall.
You can see through it.
When all is fallen around you, babies crying on the ground, beds empty, living rooms stripped, shit in corners,
She opens the door for you, the window for you, the rooms and walls and roof, attic and stairwell and hall open for you.
You make eye contact through the window.
You have no friends left.
You make eye contact through the walls.
She has no friends left.
You fuck her other friend.