Life is just another method

of payment. You want to go back to Maine,

Indian farmboy in this big city, have your mother

spoon out comfort—

potato soup and baked yams—

talk to Grandpa about the iron plate

nailed to his brain during the war,

the vats of pig's blood outside the barn.

In four years, seven friends

committed suicide. This week another,

coming home for the holidays,

dies, the wide winter roads too slick

to hold his car in place. In Maine,

even the blueberries

and lobsters are stunted

by cold. After you left, forty people

followed you to California.

Now, the city's four corners are closing in.

It is Sunday and you are tired of fighting.

You tell me you want to go to Bali

where the day's most important event

is eating a big wedge of melon

against the haze of temples and smoky greens.

I sit in your room, know why

comfort can be as easy

as a trigger. In the three days since your friend's death,

you've covered every corner with your sculptures—

a blue baby hemorrhages on the table, rose and thorns

sprouting from his appendix, and a sperm angel

hangs, shaking from a clothes line.