I want to take a ride on your Rubbermaid Tupperware bride, slobber her plastic lids. Slide me down casserole counter. I want to eat deviled eggs and wear her wedding dress, stain it with mayonnaise. She doodles your name and counts Egyptian cotton. She cooks and cleans. She has cocktails after work with the girls. She doesn’t know you call me looking for reality. But my soul sits sour on your bedside table when you’re gone, beside your glass bong and your orange Texas sweatpants I’ve stained with tears. Your smell sticks and mixes with my perfume, telling me I’m doomed. I’m too in love with you. Telling me to leave you. Now you’re up to your neck in Tupperware underwear trying to peel back the plastic to taste genuine banana republic socks splintering your backside. My poems are only haunting memories recollecting faded smells and laughs. You dream in color through the murders we plotted. Killing each George Bush supporter. I thought that nothing could be as intoxicating as the taste we heaved back and forth after the whisky stopped working. I suffocated myself. I blew sober kisses through autumn air. Nobody heard. I recall splashing around the champagne fountain then slipping out the tent seam. Before I made a ruckus. Before I told the priest you were an atheist. My breath makes frost at the city. I see exhaust in idle slow motion through rice confetti.

Just married roars out the tailpipes.

In the fall of a slow year, he detects extrasolar wobble, the first clue.

Then telltale shadow, and smudges on a star in the Pegasus constellation, then he’s sure it’s there, a new planet, he’s the first to see or almost see this celestial revealing—and then what reverie. He kisses his telescope lens. He buys a bottle of scotch to take to his stucco house.

His bread-and-butter wife blows on the purple nails she’s enameled and glittered, has already fixed bacon sandwiches for supper. She claps at his news, squeals like a pierced balloon, promises shish kebabs for a celebratory meal tomorrow, and brings mayonnaise when he asks, two glass tumblers, and ice cubes in an empty margarine tub.

That night, in their ordinary, bed beneath the plaid comforter, staring at her cabbage-shaped head, he dreams of the trajectory of his life, if he leaves her:

his quest for planets gnaws him, like a termite pulping a block of wood. Colossal machines—digital camera and spectroscope— transport his quivering eye on voyages through the night. He searches for the next planet, then just one more, calibrates the telescope’s tilt, catalogs the attendant moons, spends all his wakeful hours juggling columns of data and begging the stars.

Through galaxies of wanderers, of decimals, numbers, and powers, he spins and spins, a lone speck of dust and filigreed bone.

Finale

At our dinner party we only thought the dark-haired mime was putting on a very special performance. Every other mime’s face contorted into envy.Whadda commitment to craft… Even after he knocked over his water glass and stuck his thumb in the tuna tartare, we didn’t consider the color seeping under his white mask. A face in full bloom. Pinching their chalked cheeks, the other mimes chewed over white verse red as a trickle of blood drooled out the corner of a mouth. But that was last Wednesday, by now every mummer has added a death riff to their gag.

The Thyroid, a litany

Consider your thyroid,
the second brain of your human body.
Consider this organ healthy,
delicate butterflied vessel nestled
at the base of your throat.
Consider how it cocoons at the base of your throat.
Consider your thyroid as a caterpillar.
How it crowns collarbones,
how it kings clavicles.
Think how your thyroid queens.
Consider cookie cutter shapes like your thyroid.
Asymmetry considered, wings act
as indictors of disease or malnutrition.
Meditate on the marshmallow thyroids
along Appalachia. Consider speech
strangulation and how ambrosia
like broth, like mash, slips
past tracheas, past lobes pumping blood
to the dunce organ, brain-dead
in reverse. Consider how your thyroid put
your larynx in a box, put your voice
in a hat-box, put a feather in your
cap, put a dunce-cap on your larynx, told your larynx
to shut its pie-hole.
Consider lime jello, starched sheets,
your thyroid in a hospital gown.
Your thyroid with a fever.
Your fever, with a thyroid, sick in bed.
Consider your thyroid remembers.
It generates a list.
Consider your thyroid is hermetic,
like an emerald tablet, like a soft-shell
crab, like a groundhog,
like a groundhog’s
shadow.