As good as gold:

“I want to live

I want to die”


I like the way you look down

And to right when you smile

to yourself

When I am dying

to know what is in your brain


I bought a papaya last night

I picked it out and knocked on its flesh

And heard a hollow sound

And it cost four dollars

And I carried it home in a sack on my back, carried it twelve blocks

I washed its skin and set it on a plain, clean towel.

When it dried I set it on a green cutting board and used my new kitchen knife for the first time to slice it lengthwise

For the first time I looked inside

And those black seeds and pink flesh

Were life: new and foreign and memorable.


My love wears his buttoned shirts like an actor, as though they make him brave

And were I steadfast as you I could glean a stage of my own

In winter you gave me your limelight

which is slatted morning light

Speech is rendered

And my speech will be

How you are brave and I am not