Various and Sundry Poetry

in the last (possibly) last summerfor Margaret Atwood

I want to love as if I were dying.
Even if you don't know, touch my shoulder
indiscriminately, like an accident
or a small error of space.
I want my heart clawing the air,
gouging into your neck, your
soft eyes, your anything,
devouring what it can.

Broken into, dissected, flayed on a white platter
with blue flowers, the tomato is not greater or less than
the cucumber, the carrot, the yellow pepper.
At the first mile, I had to remind myself
I was not alone. By the last,
I had forgotten aloneness.

A spider in the bed, a spider in the shower,
a fly preening itself on the bedside lamp.
A beetle doing a slow shuffle near the pillow.
They don't know from my morning rituals,
my nighttime reading, the mattress
where my body will slide into sleep. Still,
I want to get a Kleenex, initiate
disposal. But they can't help themselves,
and I know that if I wait a little,
they will move on, perhaps find a way
outside. In the meantime, the house alive
with legs, moving and resting and moving together.