I hold my breath in these quiet times
of no garbage men, can collectors, and
girls with whooping coughs.
I have stopped growing, like a
moon and stars watermelon,
root vegetables in this dry season.
In other words, I have stepped outside myself.
I peel my fingernails like tiny oranges
on the subway, litter the floor with milky crescents.
This is what they call an automatic response to stress.
Once I arrive home,
a pink hand with wide fingers
blocks my view of the sun.
I lie, naked back to carpet,
peer around joints to see light.