Gulf of Mexico (Option 2)

She asked me to come on the porch
And look at the dead thunderstorm
It was light gray,
Smeared and used up in the western sky
And our eyes were burning holes in it
Little orange holes

She asked me,
And this was years earlier,
To lick the meat drippings off her hand
Back at the beginning of the affair
In Fort Davis
Before the much-euphemized incident,
The botched front yard suicide of her husband Hank
That left him glazed over like a bathroom window
In a Port Arthur nursing home

This is us at our lightest now
We are sleeping oil rigs in the night
Hospital issue plastic rosary beads
We are two very large numbers, looking at the sky

There is the option
Of never forgiving yourself
I am testimony
So is she

You may never go to a petting zoo again,
Never pluck a feather
From a terminally tired ostrich
You may never laugh at a stranger’s high pitch sneeze
Or buy a miniature cactus from the grocery store,
It’s plastic pot wrapped in hot pink foil

You will be flavorless
Irish lasagna
You will read historical fiction
In an uncomfortable wooden chair
You will be an expanding mass,
Never rupturing