BIRD OF PARADISE
(his face between my hands)
I’m shaking. You do get cold feet, cold everywhere,
the body shaking itself then suddenly warm. O bird of paradise,
its ridiculous tail.
It frightens me to give him a ride, hold him
beside me. Rain. The car
flooded with night. Lights from the highway stream
around our bodies. Too late I notice
the red signal. I’m sorry—I say it
again and again.
It’s just a color,
Before the world meant anything.
O, look at him, here now–
I keep my eyes on the road, signs
telling me what to do.
Slick blackness everywhere
pushing the light around so it takes time
to reach our faces,
the rearview mirror lying in the road—
a piece of its dark, wet skin. I wish
I could see him, I wish
we could enter the same body for a moment.