After Marielle, Spring 1997
Well, first check your fingers
to make sure all your nails are broken or trimmed.
Your shoes should be tied tightly but
if their heels are higher than two inches
discard them. Discard with them any notions
you have harbored about what makes sexy
underwear, every language in which you’ve learned
to say No, Please, Thank You, I, and Later (including
but not limited to Kickboxing and Crazy).
Be practiced in the dribble of hearsay.
You will hear him say these words many times.
Most of the time they will be muffled by this plan
reeling through your head, a talkie on mute
full of the jerky movements of film–real film–and
grown-man plans. Your friends will tell you to keep him
and his friends will identify him by your name.
Sometimes the aches in your body will crave spinach or
calf’s liver for want of him like a nutrient you cannot taste
or feel except in its absence. And drawing from all this
you may believe that you do not need these instructions to