Inexplicable, the sign outside a deli scrawled
and below that: ALWAYS.
But there were no flowers. And I have never
seen an Always. I would like to,
and I have looked.
I have kept my eye keen
for Always, have liked
its idea like an expensive purse, coveting it as
riding the arms of rich ladies who are
so very lady. I've rolled on velvet
cushions where I heard Always slept,
and I once tried to kiss Always,
but I don't think it was the Always
I was looking for.
I like your Always, it looks
such a demanding pet. It looks like it kisses
nice and soft.
It looks like the bruise I found
flowering on my knee.
I fell down at your voice.
Not to worry, I got right back up, walked ten
and by then I was halfway home.
I knock my knees blue
and scabbed crawling
toward you, wanting flowers,
and always, always, always
to slide against the cold vinyl of a car's seat,
your pale hands
on the bare backs of my legs,
that's one Always I want, and whoever knew
there were so many species
of Always? Your bare hands
on the pale backs
of my thighs, printing bruise,
and if you said Flowers, said Always and we
could erect a forever
of something like sheets
and breakfast and an ordinary
day, my eyes would
always slide across the table toward
to warm their twin marbles in your palm,
my face would flower
for you daily, so that when we
die, roses might petal
themselves out our throats.