Crank

We’ll begin here:
summer’s green pant
hot against our necks,
your dog circling my ankles,
my Subaru sweating lonely
on your driveway.
Here: sheepish tangle
of high school sheets,
the golden yawn
of intimacy leaning back
on its heels,
done practicing.
Let me be clear:
I’m not scraping off
the sweat and sinew, nights spent
plucking out the clay-tangle
of my veins for something warm
to nightmare against—No,
I want to show you
my heart’s new shoes,
click my heels: ventricles
pumping out breezy jazz,
gauze-bright.
Can’t you hear it?
I want this to sit
in your pockets,
lead you somewhere sun-
papered and brilliantly muddy.
Don’t worry about me.
I’ll be here again
tomorrow, cranking the wheels
of this sweating shivering
magic machine,
doing heart-aerobics
on the telephone cord,
showing you how
I can do push-ups, now,
five, six, real ones—
how I never could before.

By Margaret Schnabel