[I]f it concerns anything not in our control, be prepared to say that it is nothing to you.
- Epictetus, The Enchiridion as translated by Elizabeth Carter
O, yes I saw how you said what you said to him. That flirt to fuck and sweet hip shook once. I gave a glower. Tense mute brow a bent soot streak. In silence, the mind accretes a heap of imagined infidelities. Though we entangle. Become the roaring fire gullet the frenzy wrangle the clutch [[g][r]]asp torrent. Mantises! You in the shower and I should be in with but I’m reading texts on your phone or scouring your email my skull a black iron set by the stove innocuous until you touch it. Some books say: “To be possess is to hold, occupy or reside in, without regard to ownership.” “It does not belong to you.” “Repent, therefore, of this thy wickedness.” The way I stood over those many women, still, with silent loom, tangent phrase, fear beyond the closed door more than me. but not for long, long ago, no longer. Nor now allow all freedom, no eye-heat adrenaline- hand snap-tongue withering. Morph yet not to bud a peach but die to whitefly. Seed- germ split to, spilt upon, spit on, ground down to ground for growth unlikely. Every alley a false Buddha. Our spoons have long handles. We cannot feed ourselves, but we could feed each other. Learn to speak O, muzzled ox, or starve with food upon your back.