(for Bella Li)

Together they equal an intimate uproar
in a china cup. A Heidelberg jawbone, an angry
penguin with a ruined shirtfront. Drawn
with all the force of its indeterminacy, the spilt milk belies
an air of excessive formalism –
each mark in its specific orbit like a moon
or an egg of tranquil lunacy
balanced on a spoon.
A point on a line between nude & sleep.
There are gothic underground parking lots with which
you feel affinities. Dimorphic,
eutherian, as alien hands that shape a vestige
of what they’d grasp. Comforting
as a café table colosseum – the gladiatorial voice,
the baffled creatures stalking in retreat
to nursery rhymes & Black Forest cake.
A raisin-eyed fingerling
pricks you with its tusk & in a split
second everything tastes
like the burnt roof of a mouth or gum arabic,
& the special occasions
all stared glumly back.