Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Winter Thing

After the CPR class we hand in the dummies
we have been kissing through plastic
sanitary barriers. Just heads and torsos, all male;
and then the babies. A closetful of baby-dolls.

The old fireman stacks them with indifference
but I noticed how he cradled his, when he taught us
what to do with choking infants, even though
it wasn't on the syllabus for adult CPR;
he was used to having a baby on his arm.

All night the stacked men and babies will wait.
They won't move a muscle, breathless,
waiting for kisses through plastic again.

Sometimes the Winter Thing returns in March
And carefully fits her mouth
(or whatever that is) over your own
and breathes the air you were hoping for;

or again she will extrude her stomach
and kiss you with her whole reversible body,
and you're inside, dissolving,
without knowing you've been eaten.

Better to wait quiet in the closet, in the dark,
and listen to the air come on and off;
hear the hum of the electric clock, and
take such signs of love as come to you.

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