As if everything in the world were penetrable
we seek out archways, sweet lockjaw
of crook and clavicle. Even the ear is a marvel
of vulnerable invention. As if sanctuary, your
hand on the trapdoor of my skull where
hush, quiet, state-issued boots clip the lintel.
What leaves these lines, haunted rivers
parched in the palm. Line of Saturn, Girdle
of Venus, that break toward the thumb
a sickness. Someone might have hurt you once
or again. I want other hands. Give me freckles.
Constellate me, flatten out the creases,
a nebulae whose only clear picture, infrared and cave-like,
billows, birthing stars. Give me no other side
to these steel clouds, this cathedral.