At times we are as different from ourselves
as we are from others.
(La Rochefoucauld)

We collect seashells in the desert,
flotsam bones the texture of shark skin,

read in the frayed sky what worms divine,
marriage on the edge of extinction.

Even with doors and windows open
our cinderblock apartment

held heat like a grudge, flattened us
to a species of oppositions,

like archaeopteryx, both
lizard and bird. “Neither

the sun nor death can be
looked at with a steady eye,”

but a pinhole camera, its blank
paper, and now I can’t remember

sometimes where I park the car
show me a thing or two: night of orange

blossoms, backyard pool, stars
we wake as we enter black water.