Just me painting miniature furniture with a two-haired brush.
Just the outer rims of a tabby cat’s right eye darkened as if by charcoal.
Just the left cheek of the stewardess’s khakied backside.
Just the turning of the cuckoo’s clockworks.
Just the false, plasticky brown of that lit-student’s glasses.
Just the tiny feeling of fear that hides behind a bullhorn of rage.
Just the idea of matrimony.
Just the audacity of denim ball caps with suede brims.
Just the tip of that orange dildo.
Just a nip. Just one.
Just maybe try it.
Just maybe try, for once, a little tenderness.
Just to get through it all, try holding a warm bulb of compassion all the way through the terrible night.
Just for me, try everything.
Just for you, I’ll everything.
Just pause in this one moment, heavy-lidded and old, your crown feather slightly displaced—below us flows the slow glide of the ocean’s bestiary through dark weeds that rock steady, steady, steady.
Betsy Wheeler is the author of the chapbook Start Here (Small Anchor Press) and her poems can be found in such places as notnostrums, Bat City Review, Forklift OH, MiPoesias and Octopus. Her full-length poetry collection Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room is forthcoming from the National Poetry Review Press. She is the editor of Pilot Books (www.pilotpoetry.com) and lives in Western Massachusetts.