i could never be a mailman,
not because i am not a man
but because i could not resist
opening up the packages
addressed to people who weren’t
me–once a box-shaker, always
a box-shaker, and that would be
your new china set, tinkling as
i tossed the package to you,
already torn open. “it’s a bit cheap,”
i’d say in your sister’s voice.
i’d be there in my saggy blue pants
with the latest season on dvd,
saying, “they all die at the end.”
or i’d be on your doorstep
holding out the new waffle maker,
saying in your mother-in-law’s
voice, “you can’t cook anyway.”
the worst would be the heart
i would press into your hand,
saying in your lover’s voice,
“you can have it back. i don’t
need it anymore.”



these pills are virgin blue and cleanse my mind
of thought until i am a blank canvas but not meant
for paint or ink. hang me in a museum somewhere
under glass, titled: effacement.

i think (when i can think) that i might one day
go again to the lighted room with the buddha statues
and the plants, the brocade the on decorative hutch,
that heaven must be a psychotherapist’s office.

he reassures me that he never fucks his wife
and i swallow this as some sour pill, or else
let it dissolve like aspirin under the tongue.
but the throbbing in my temples doesn’t go away.

some days my head is a refrigerator. the grapes
wrinkled and the avocados turning pasty. some days
i remember that i can’t remember, and then every-
thing is okay, just before it softens and blurs out.