On the Night Row-Houses Across the Street Catch Fire
by Robin Gow
I tell you “I want to want to be touched”
and I think about specimens
of all shapes in sizes captive
in science jars. Like a laboratory
you carried my skull from room to room.
You let the yellow glow
from eye sockets. The building up the street
is burning faster and faster. I am wishing
I could be the kind of lover
who holds you in the prying dark.
Campfires dwell where I used
to kneel for you. If I could be
a larger body I would balloon and
pocket your worry and my violet. How did
I become a boy so fearful of your touch?
How did my body turn vivarium?
In the morning we can talk about
fire fire fire but for now we have only
candle shadows and distance
stretching more hallways
than I can teach myself. Waiting is
a kind of dwindling promise.
We used to kiss like thumbs.