Adam Clay

Self-Portrait with House Slippers and Tap Water

               —after Jay Hopler

1.

   In bed—a rose thorn

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

2.

Maybe disappearing is what I meant.

A lover’s hair clogging the drain—

maybe disappearing is what I meant?

3.

The beginning of a beautiful season!

4.

Even if what they say—pain exists
to magnify love

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

5.

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

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

6.

Or if you could?

7.

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

8.

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