I wonder if a bag of air would weigh more
than the truth of me wanting you.
in a department store, rubbing
the khakis between your thumb and forefinger,
and your wife,
the woman with the white hair,
her bony fingers dipping into the concave of your spine,
rubbing by you anyway, not feeling you,
but your wife’s hand skimming along my side.
sitting at the bar, lips covered in hops,
so bitter you look towards the door.
You, sitting there,
too loud with your fickle nature and your gentle widow’s peak.
Back then, you were hanging from your feet at the topmost
branch of that tree with all the scratches in it from the bears.
You used to tell me you’d be invisible to them
with that backward stance,
upside down, you said you could be anything.
A flag, an offshoot who’s bark became too heavy,
who’s leaves seemed to be fishing for the wallflower on the ground. Once,
you were taken as their curio, but they gave you back to me.
You told me how the small one’s face got real close to yours
and you knew you’d be eaten,
but you said, how the tongue poked out
like an intrepid finger only to taste the scab
above your eyebrow, leaving it soggy and stinging.
And maybe that’s why you met her, tried to,
because you swore to me you wanted to die
as that boring old man who couldn’t shop for himself,
and how I must be the cause of these things happening,
how I had to have been the bear who tasted just to retreat,
and how could I have not eaten you when you were standing
right there in front of me pleading?