Mary Ann Mayer

It's too cold for June, too rainy to be true,
gardens overgrown, unruly—
when we land within an inch of one another
on the train.

So why not?
In the distance between no and yes,
in this caravan of bodies
explore what's ours and right here,
a little geography.

We touch
over the viaduct. We touch
under an angora sweater I spread across our laps,
senses unrestrained,
brake levers useless,
little more than a tremble to hold onto.

Hurtling through this sweet board-game
of trestle bridges and factory yards,
through stations of the past along the river called Neponset,
spilling every which way, to nowhere certain.

Sinking deeper now in the seat,
we open up A Natural History of the Senses
to a passage on pheromones, "those pack animals of desire."
I laugh, feel something pressing.

It's getting blurry now—
flood water to the east, savanna to the west,
entering the non-speaking zone
of green vernacular, tinged with scarlet,

when two gazelles appear in the mist,
their legs luminous in mist
lazily loping in some procession
through Eden.

And only we see them
lower their hazel animal eyes to nibble such greenery.

"Headless Nude" (detail) ~ Anne Marie Levine. Click for full image.