Because a woman asks for change
and I look through her like an x-ray,
her thin brittle bones my own.

Because the boy’s boat in the fountain
drifts back and forth without wind,
and the smell of bread in the air
is like the sexing of bodies.

Because I wear a pebble in my shoe
to remind myself to live  live  live
like a lizard unfreezing itself
from the net of a great shadow.

Because I hold a dying rabbit—
neck just snapped by jaws,
heat pouring into my hands
until I, too, have lost my boundaries.

Because when the starlings lift
from the elm, I hear my own words
shake down over the greening earth like salt.

First appeared in Bellingham Review, Fall 2003