If our bodies weren’t so beautiful.
Even rabbits are made of firecrackers
so tiny they tickle your hand.
If only the infirmities,
blocked neural pathways, leg braces
and bandages didn’t make all these bodies
look like they’re dancing.
Breathing will destroy us, hearts
like ninja stars stuck into the sternums
of granite caesars. Should I worry
people have stopped saying how skinny
and pale I am? Paul may destroy the kitchen
but he’s the best cook I know.
Seared tuna, pesto risotto – where
did he get those tomatoes? –what a war
must be fought for simplicity!
Even the alligator, flipped over,
is soft as an eyelid. Hans, the trapezist,
got everyone high on New Year’s Eve
with a single joint, the girl he was with
a sequin it was impossible not to want
to try to catch without a net.
Across the bay, fireworks punched
luminous bruises in the fog.
If only my body wasn’t borrowed from dust!
Bender: New and Selected Poems