The Apple Pipe
     a late cousin speaks

            Let’s walk to this open field where no one
can listen. As that murdered governor was to have said,
            Never write what you can say, never
say what you can imply, nor imply when a wink
            will suffice. Though I will stand here
with my thumb cocked & my forefinger straight, do not
            make too much of it when this hammer drops
& a puff of air, which at this distance no one else
            can hear, escapes my pressed lips. Like that girl
who said, slipping in the needle, like this, like
            this, as if it were a pool cue, you can believe me
now. Coffee is not my first vice, neither my last, but the one
            I begin the day with, the red bridge light
of Mr. Coffee turned on, promising that the buzzing lights
            of the world will be turned on, too. Sometimes
there’s cannabis, its dried flower tops broken in the bowl where first
            an apple stem is twisted off, where with one
sharp chopstick a bore is pressed down through the seed-darkened,
            chambered heart, which intersects a slightly
angled second vent, likewise tunneled out by the red & gold
            enameled stick. Hence, a pipe, by which one hit
can be drawn into the lungs, into the black blood,
            the now-illuminated day, to soothe the itch, if this be
the bent of need, for methadone, or what has been called
            the chemical life. And driving by, a woman
cannot hide her craving, the glass pipe & a white rock
            & her white face briefly blooming;—but some
wishes, unless spoken, not so obvious, as when
            a happy-looking couple splits up, goes down
respective aisles of their own kinks, she, the spit-
            roasting section, he, where DVDs promise milking mothers,
so that each, strangely partitioned, their heads just visible
            above the display racks of the mom-and-pop porn emporium,
as in that circle where in stalls or vats or livid clouds
            of wasps, stung by lust or greed, & close by they laugh
in recognition of each other & knowing that this is how,
            at first, we practice happiness.  end