Listless and limp;
no rain to wash
her barren banks
or call to arms
picks a route
the exposed spine,
To the rear of the house,
through the wild
and wintry blades,
setting the nerves on edge:
the small talk of trees.
When In Rome
I was talking to a Swiss girl,
she told of a former classmate
who plucked out all of her eyelashes,
inflicting a vulnerability on her soul.
I bartered with the tale of a girl
who shaved off all of her eyebrows.
I’d received the news when drinking beer
by the Colosseum,
that place where gladiators
had impaled by trident and sword point.
She had scalped herself with a Bic.
(She met me at the airport, masked by a silk bandanna.
I knew what she concealed. She knew that I knew.)
Sometimes she would descend the stairs
wrapped in a yellow sari dress:
“Look at me, I’m a Punjabi girl!”
Dancing around the room like some