POEM WITH A MIND GAME
My heart doesn’t hurt, it just feels
like it hurts. You say I seem “unphased”—
that’s exactly how I feel. Try this trick
to see shapes in higher-
dimensional space. Was it a lucid dream,
or was believing that
part of the dream? The plot of
Groundhog Day as cultural currency?
This room has no focal point,
no TV. I feel like I love you.
Or I love you, verbatim.
My heart hurts exactly.
This one is much older, like 2003, and exists so I could use the word "raster":
IN A CAFÉ
I met a man whose memory ran backwards.
He sat at my table and filled out the crossword
in raster. I memorized it tomorrow, he said.
I smoked several of his cigarettes; he promised
they wouldn’t kill me. He knew nothing of the past,
could not conjure an image of his parents.
I spoke of the betrayals of mine.
We looked out at the view: it was raining,
with gravestones. But I was not unhappy.
He walked me home, and in the shared warmth
below his umbrella I let him kiss me.
It felt like a last kiss instead of a first.
It seemed impossible not to love him.
When the sky cleared he pointed to Orion,
the X of the body, lines crossed in space.
I knew it had always been this way.
He knew it would never be otherwise.