I go to bed again without brushing my teeth.
Cornflakes for dinner, and coffee and tea.
Four cups, of course, will keep me from sleep,
From dreams of cars-money-dread-gasoline.
I used to love everything that tasted sweet.
Now it’s the black, bitter, burned and caffeine.
Except, sometimes, the way you make it for me:
Milk and sugar.
I know I always scoff at how much you need.
Two or three spoons, then add the cream.
Drink off the spoon, unstudied, guilelessly;
The world hasn’t caught you and made you be mean.
Dear deer-eyes, sweet-tooth, rabbit-knees:
Pour a sugar mountain as high as you please.
I can't help but call out, look at the flame!
see it blush the highway bridges, see it burn my family name,
it churns like a half-sarcastic love song on repeat
it dances on the steel mill, makes the blackest smoke taste sweet
it stokes my little leafless heart, gnaws the edges of my sleeves.
because that hot bright tongue is mine, it's mine
a winking message, a cryptic sign,
the mad plumage fluttering above a gridlock hide
a hundred hands snatching up from the skyline
and even when it's lost in the daylight or the rain
I still find it, send it kisses, call it by the family name.
— The End —