There you are, holding the coffee mug
to your cheek like you’re banishing
a mild toothache, your is breath making
small mist touch the cool, morning pane.
“It’s the squalor that holds a city together,”
you say. “Clean away all that and make
each street clinical, and the shell will crack,
the flesh fall away, the whole body prostrate.”
you limn the view from the window, starting
with a flick of green at the rainwater goods,
I come to stand behind you, nuzzle your neck,
your fingernails play a pretty tattoo at the cill.