At the gym the boy in the stall next to
me has, “bipolar,” “lovers,” “medicine”
tattooed here and there. I’ve got vindaloo,
rice and curry on my tongue. There’s cotton
balls in my pocket, band-aids, a thing – spork?
Something that’s neither fork nor spoon, and yet
I can’t throw away. I’ve got stains, all cork
and basque, under my eyes. With comb I wet
my hair, smear the steamy mirror. My tube
socks are pulled to my knees. My gym shorts tight.
Bazooka Joe gum in one cheek. My words
might mean shame or pride. Startled, the flashcube
on your camera goes off. I hate that light,
that shows me exposed, my startled mouth blurred.