How attractive trouble feels
in paradise. The place next door
where pain is an option
begins to whisper.
You want the leopard to replace
the swan, the great horned owl
to nudge a songbird out of a tree.
The case for suffering is always
overrated by those whose health
is good, whose houses are calm.
But today you understand
why some people pierce
more than their ears,
why the leisure class has a history
of eating itself from the inside
And, now, a wish to stir
the stilled air with a serrated knife
dip into the blackberry jam,
then lick that knife publicly clean,
hoping someone will notice and care.
From the beginning, hasn’t it
been the same: the need to woo
a stranger so you’ll not be mutinous
alone, to lie down knowingly
among the nettles and the thorns?