– after Elizabeth Bishop

Think of the anus opening slowly, suddenly
like a dark orchid, like a dog’s colossal yawn,
the perpetual grave.

Think how they must look now: nubile bodies
lying by the empty pool outside your window,
ablute with melanin.

And occasionally, you will rub your stiff cock,
as if polishing a cedar balustrade. Your balls
are a locus of nausea.

Think of the bathroom, its many excrements –
piss and shit, blood and cum, etc. And you:
an I with the abject.

The shower drain is stuck or broken. Oyster-
stained grout sutures the room of your losing.
You will still resemble

yourself like an old animal. You cannot write
about the body because you worship the body.
Ask what happens to you.

Think of the matchstick striking a phosphorous
box-side. How it burns and fades. You will be
dead far longer than living.

Michael Marberry