With/out

And the mornings were detritus,
bent bottle caps, chrome diner matchbooks,

always the pack of playing cards in cellophane
with the tab half-pulled, and the unearthed voice

of the drive-thru pricked by shined key chains
jangling like tire irons. And the nights were detritus,

expired gas station receipts, mall vapors, a half-used
tin of tattoo salve, all of Bayonne, New Jersey

mapped on your back in chalk. The moon was detritus,
a pick-up dodging the curb trailing nail clippings,

onion skins, translucent stars, five beat-down Nikes
that wound up phone-pole hopping in Ditmas.

And you were the detritus of magnifying glasses,
half-done lanyards, award ribbons fluttering

like condom wrappers at the shore, the wreckage
of contour lines, a hand-tooled leather souvenir

from a red rock abyss. The scent of your drawer
was fresh rubber and guitar picks, the metallurgy

of scattered loose change and blood. Your bed
wore charcoal detritus, lip-gloss and pot-dust,

ill-fitted sheets. And the detritus the July heat let loose:
gnawed Bic pen caps, a glowing Duncan Hines yo-yo

tangled in dead 9-volt connectors and envelopes
whose lips sealed shut from humidity that swelled

the windows into their frames. If you had scrawled
something on the inside of my wrist back then

it might have been a Venn diagram: your contented breath,
six glove-box necessities, the muffled places detritus would take us.



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