Arms and hair afloat
in whole-body immersion, the soul
rehearses its final attitude,
lounging while the water cools.
An olive stain blooms
under the skin at my hip
where I test gently with my thumb;
feeling the nub of pain ripen,
I enumerate the day’s
collisions with my skeleton:
handshakes, touchings of shoulders,
the one kiss – ordinary weather on
a self carefully steered
among the furniture of possible hurt.
Brother, steam fogs the mirrored
resemblance. Again I hear it:
the shout in last night’s dream
rose out of your slow drop
from parapet to asphalt, and became
my own as it broke my sleep,
as if the fall were mine;
awake, I traced the ravelled
arm and hand trapped between
my side and the bed’s hard-shoulder.
Now I towel a self more or less whole
while they’re gathering you again.
Tomorrow you’ll be re-assembled
to wear the torn cloth of your skin.