I too drag around tin cans
so you can’t kiss me.
I too have been beat up by cabbies
thrown out of moving cars,
gotten into screaming matches with cancerous secretaries.
I too am covered in war paint
like indelible ink, quick to jump
to bait, to horse, to flower—
don’t look both ways
when entering the river. I too seal off
passages to my heart like a besieged country,
cut losses, cut brothers, don’t look back
when I am lost in the forest. I too fear
invisible drunken singers, I too fear
white horses. I too can’t
forgive can’t stained-glass out of here can’t tell you
words of love when you ask for water.