I sit across the subway car from me,
my splayed fingers mask the jacket of the book in hand.
An ace in our hole she told us, but the folds of our brain are
spooled reels unwound in tight canisters.
We hate a crowded car, a thicket of commuters
grown while we were browsing pages. We can’t see
stops past arms raised and hooked. If we pruned branches
here and there, they’d bleed
like a forest of suicides.
We have no pity, and Virgil needn’t chastise us.
Months before, we climbed
her belltower. Scaffolds masked the facade, but we came
when she beckoned us. Winded helically up the stairs
in the empty. She took her loose fists and she made softness.
The arch of her wrists sprung with grace, some tension.
She was alone in the air, vaporized, anonymous
and everywhere, there were rests, she suspended.
She unlaces my fingers from the book.