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Adam Clay

Self-Portrait with House Slippers and Tap Water

               —after Jay Hopler


   In bed—a rose thorn

in my finger. A celebration
of the day was all I turned out to be.


Maybe disappearing is what I meant.

A lover’s hair clogging the drain—

maybe disappearing is what I meant?


The beginning of a beautiful season!


Even if what they say—pain exists
to magnify love

were true,
you wouldn’t change your hum
to accommodate loneliness.


O dog, O dog, can I understand hunger
for a moment
through your mind?

What would heaven be
if you couldn’t manage abstractions?


Or if you could?


Headlights for a reading lamp—
The beginning of a beautiful season—


I am washing the sand,
I am washing each grain of sand.


From A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World - Milkweed Editions, 2012