/ / Issue 15

I thought we had solved them all, these problems of humanity:
how we die, and why, and who it is we ought to be.

I’ve learned to count to infinity, to touch my toes, to plug
my nose when I jump off diving boards; I know how to exhale

when waxing my body, how much is too much to drink
at parties, and that, when eating from a buffet

I must be first in line. If there is some part of me
I cannot educate, I’ll compensate with technology:

Google translate has gotten me through dates
with a Frenchman in Prague, an Armenian in Italy.

But this morning, when that woman got on the M train
to slap and beat her face, when her low moan carried

throughout the car, as she fell into an empty seat,
when she scratched with thick nails

at her breast, undoing buttons
down the center of her chest—I said nothing. . .