I do not rule the body / of the girl I love, nor the body / of the girl I was, who is the city / I go home to, which is an island, / which I am always forgetting.
I have never been to the hospital
in Georgia. In Georgia, there are rules.
I have learned a few of them, although
I have not lived here long. Although
I have not lived there for awhile
now, I remember a few rules:
no pens. No underwire bras. No physical
contact. Of course, the rules might differ
in the adult ward, or in Georgia. In Georgia,
I have never tried to divide my body
by zero. My hair has grown
long and purple, a river in the hands
of the girl I love. In the hospital,
I soaked my fingers in the water fountain.
I eyed an electrical socket, sought to honor
my deformities. I do not know the rules
of mathematics in Georgia, but I remember
how it feels to reach and grasp nothing.
Of course, the rules can change. The rule
is change. Is crossed out, then clear
as a horizon. Of course, the horizon
shimmers: limit of her body’s
jurisdiction. I do not rule the body
of the girl I love, nor the body
of the girl I was, who is the city
I go home to, which is an island,
which I am always forgetting.
Unlike the girl I love, the girl I was
does not touch me, for she has
no body, my body her derivative —
feeble shade, pale purple flame —
the rate at which she does not change
while the girl I love learns the rules
of hospitals in Georgia.