he has become worth a great many
things—she reflects in the mirror,
waiting for him, trying to think
how to explain: I feel calmer
this time, but
everything is more extreme.
I am crashing into myself with a neck-
breaking speed before only reserved
for the real breaking of necks,
when pretty girls fall
from ten-feet-tall buildings
and land on cars.
but thank God, there is no suicide
tonight—the sad earth leaves,
the girl sets a better scene:
the boy returns, he glances
she is wuthering into spring
she is prettier and uglier: her face
looks like Vermeer
in the window, the pale
and the dark perfect halves.
she is caught in the opera voices.
his coming and leaving splits
before he smiled at me, after.
before he talked to me, after.
before we were friends, after.
before we were lovers—
and she tilts her head like painted
girls might, the color spilling
the artists running riot:
there is something dark and sparking in his eyes
that they cannot capture and she
he is not good in poetry, in music—
he is too alive.
she is starting, she thinks,
to live too.