If your toenails are purple,
I’ll study your frown. Remember
that even newspapers bruise
in the light; their notions are dated
& too soon may fade. I want
to be hurt but I don’t want it
to hurt, like those roses nailed into
the wall right next to your smile.
A lesson about how ludicrous
our sorrows can be. A smear of red
to remind us to bleed. Another example
is the volcano exploding,
the snow covered tree line. Napkins
are crumpled in a tremendous outpouring
of grief. Don’t open them back up
if you don’t want to die. Marginal
boats drift in purpling waters
but I’ll do my best to avert my gaze.
The whole night like a piece of shell
protecting the softest parts
of the sky. The radio can’t remember
how it wants me to feel.