clean the canopy and set the knives in order.
They lie there on the bed like a ladder.
I let August pass over me like news
in smaller fonts. Over and over I am
caught dumb by my face blossoming
out of the mirror in a drunken language.
It wants to tell me something, speak
its one sentence before collapse.
Approaching thirty, it is becoming clear
a man can make the same mistake
many times, in the same clothes, the same
shiver and clutch on the fire escape,
the same brightness in the white exhale.
How many times did I wake up next to her
only to wake up again. Lately, I have confidence
in laundry. I trust the café on the corner, rude
edges of an old brown book, or the basic
way I masturbate, eyes on the roofline
of a house three blocks away. In half-light
I know what song brings every one of us
here, it goes: refrain, refrain, refrain.
But we will never have enough
of being wrong about the other, not once.