We both can’t be out past six; your parents

will call, I have my midnight shift. When I

pull out — all wet, smeary — my fingerprints

leave red, dire streaks in your hair. The wild rye

has been guzzled, they’ll smell it on your breath.

The stains in your mom’s car; the way you bit

down hard as the, “petite mort,” little death,

broke you. Didn’t Whitman say, “If the clit

is not the soul,/ what is the soul?” No? Darn.

I’ll crawl back into my scrubs. Tomorrow

I’ll meet you outside school. What else is there?

All your exams and my knitting and yarn?

Caught in another shiver, ache’s cruel flow,

we stare at the stain on your underwear.

“If the clit is not the soul,/what is the soul?” No?