I wanted to sew my shadow to the sole of my foot,
little beads of blood at the base of neat hemming stitches.
Not because I was afraid of separation.
I wanted this necessity.
I wanted something
strange and familiar.
I look down and it too is flicking a page,
a tangle of hair bobbing
just slightly in the air-conditioning.
I want to know you,
and I want you
to be unknowable.
I am the others [the pretty, cheaply-scented girls with neat, compact
calves, the gaunt boys with long, elegant fingers blunted with calluses].
I contain them I and strain to touch their separateness.
There is a knowledge
I can only get by brushing
your arm on accident.
It’s like we’re all reciting
the pledge of allegiance,
divisible like the moon,
like the face of the clock,