The water leaves five sudsy limbs after it’s drained from the bath,
_____________________________________________________a translucent starfish.
I’ve lost count of your disappearances: into a swarm of bees on
stage, in a bang of smoke, as if your body were only air & wish.
I know it is only illusion: a mechanism behind each. A trap
__________________________________________________door. A reason

we will not have a child, my reflection tells the empty
rooms in the house. I hurry, unrecognized, to the bridge where you perch,
a distant moon on the north wind. They walk through me.

We have only our dreams, you tell the crowd. Swaddled in chains,
_________________________________________________________you lurch
to the edge & step off. We hold our breath
_____________________________________as you plummet through the air.
Chainless, it is I who am helpless. Who descends. Who speaks with the drowned,

who sees the city lights from beneath the water, a pearl in the hair
of heaven. Desire speaks back into lungs it breathes from–
__________________________________________________& mine is gowned

by voices from the deep. By the absent. They say you are beyond fear.
As I am beyond dreams. Again I watch a burial, a drowning. A vanishing.
________________________________________________________Again I disappear.

Mark Wagenaar