You will argue that it's none of my concern
who you embrace,
what fruit your mouth accepts and expresses
as the pulp and sweetness of your desire.
Doesn't sick soil poison every leaf?
Doesn't richness bless every bloom?
I am the Quantifier and Keeper of Carnal Particulars.
The muscle of his shoulder beneath your cheek
two Novembers ago?
Bin 47, lot 5.
The dusky sound of her woodsmoke voice
on a bridge above the river on a night last July?
Shelf 21B, Warehouse 2, Compound A.
You just wait.
Let that grating emptiness come over you when you're alone
remembering his paint-stained fingers
or the caramel curl of her hair.
You'll need to retrieve it then,
more than blooms need stems,
sharp as a outcasts need warm mercy.
There I'll be,
rolling my cart to space 4G7 in the auxiliary bay,
requisitioning the very thing you need,
sending it out,
maintaining inventory and your equilibrium.
I'm good at what I do
because I understand need and weakness and lack.
Envelope G, in file B7GK4
should contain your wicked smile,
the angle of your teeth, your lips,
and the 27 catalogued effects they had on my dissolving bones.
Inventory shows them on-hand,
but though I search your name,
I can't find any particle of you;
just a ringing emptiness
and this paltry job to fill it.
for "job title" at Toads.
When I was in the USAF, I worked night support in a warehouse, finding aircraft parts for delivery to the flight line. I drew on that, for this.