he could do it with one hand
Suzi held the fireworks like a bouquet
and asked "When do you want to do these?"
He said, "At night. Outside. Later."
She said "Yeah. Sure." and sounded pretty sarcastic about it.
I was very drunk, too,
and crawled to the low table.
I touched Martha's calf with my fingers.
Something was sticky and dirty there
and she brushed my hand away in annoyance.
"I want some more of this good stuff," she said
and held out her glass.
The carpet fibers against my face
were stiff and hot, seemed to catch weird fire
when they reached my tongue.
The television showed some people fucking
but it was part of a story.
"What's this movie?" I asked when Martha
reached down to give me a pipe.
She exhaled gray smoke and said "It's a comedy"
and that sounded just about right.
Martha disappeared then
into the bathroom and I heard the water.
She called out "You made me all nasty"
and I went in as she took off her dress.
I could hear Suzi's groaning laughter and
I cleaned my hands by peeling off
long yellowish strips.
I said "What is this? These things look rotten"
Martha did not answer me
but I saw that as she washed her legs
flesh fell away and dissolved
in the brown water.
I wanted to smoke
but my fingers, my lips, were soft
clinging to the matches, the cigarette, each other.
Martha's hair had fallen heavy across her face.
She stared at the her wet white bones dangling into the tub
and, when she started to tremble,
I knew her mouth was open,
that she was crying.