The wick in the moth is less deadly
than physics is in you.
Back then, you said Curie wasn’t sorry;
now we wear prosthetic spirits.
You’ve fallen asleep head-on-desk,
computer-lit and eerie, an astronaut adrift
amongst wastepaper stars,
and I’ve slid from bed to steal your calculations.
Not the flat, careful pages; it’s the wild ones,
the trashed ones –
forced into three dimensions, twisted,
layered, and intersected –
that conceive the strangest things.
They crackle up my housecoat sleeves,
each puff nipping my unnerves
with its audacious reality, the way you once
chased my blush from chest to cheek.
Now when you stroke my skin
you touch mere electromagnetism.
Yet your unmind also crumples, coils,
winds, and intertwines
into a ball of electric poetry
that arcs sometimes to shock me;
while your body yields like a ghost.
So I fold you, knot, curl, and bend you
to steal the jump between us
and innervate the dead.