“…and now your insides are raising 
an ineffable racket…”


–Carlos Drummond de Andrade (Elizabeth Bishop trans.)


I finally turned to you and said,

I’m scared of what is happening to my body.

Oh, person! The week before,


I’d held you inside that fear.

It was a kind of heat, a realness. The

wish to transmit


kindness without pain is a form

of pain.

We had just started to be good


at teaching each other

words for things:

persimmon, catkin, mosaicism, friend.


I’d already decided

I didn’t want you living in me like that:

all that longing, unthrottled cry


in the dark. But then, walking back

in the pre-dusk,

I watched you tremble once with a smallness,


and so learned the fragile way

your body answered the cold.

and I wanted—


I want—

so badly to reach inside myself and hand you all this beauty

that I see. 

* * *


It was one of the best days of my life.


All around us, flowers, actual flowers,


were blooming, and the smell of the fallen pears made me so hungry,

and neither of us was dead, 


and everything 


everything hurt.