On your porch, two vases of tulips
wilt, predictably: cut
stems, petals just amber, water
sucked up & dingy. A dog snores on the lawn.
You have your feet up, a brand of cigarette
you don’t usually buy dangling
between trimmed nails. Green crust
under chin where your face mask
avoided the splash. A kid bikes by, yells,
WHORE. He is too young to know
that sting. You bite into a tomato & think
of a meal you made with your last lover—
some kind of curry—& end up
masturbating, supine on porch slats. People
walk by, hardly noticing at first. Your lovers’
old names come out of your mouth
before you can catch them.
You try to picture the last one, but
can’t summon his face. A crowd
gathers. Boys sell peanuts, munch
popcorn. They aren't turned on
so much as confused.
You’re a full-time circus act. You moan
to the crowd about a finale, but it’s overcast
suddenly & your audience has left—
except one kid
kicking up mulch by the sidewalk.
He looks down at his white sneakers
& reminds you of lemonade. You adjust
your dress & are taking your plate back inside
when he asks, You don’t want
any dessert? & you think, No, but don’t
have the words to say why just yet.