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.