Everything is Walking in Your Heart
by Claire Scott

Why bother the gods when
days are eaten by nights nibbling
empty shadows and you are strung out
on the stoops of north Philadelphia
in October, one sandal missing.

No idea when you last ate. Or why
there is blood on your shirt.
Fingers stumbling for a missing wallet.
Why bother the gods with bristly beards
playing hockey in the halls of heaven,

cursing and clashing.
Get some assistance from Seconal,
four pills to forget.
Why bother the gods who
have no appointments till April,

put your name on the cancellation list,
twenty-two miles long.
You touch the scars on your skin,
the map of your life.
The raised knot on your knee,

that looks like Australia.
The crescent moons on your cheek,
the rake of crimson nails.
Why aggravate pinheaded gods,
too busy to be bothered. When

what you need is a cheap bottle
of who-cares-what to dull the edges
of loss, so your tongue doesn’t bleed
when you lick harrowed memories
of nightgowns and sharp knives.

Why bother indifferent gods
when what you need is a friend
to sit and wait with you, for days
or weeks or months, however long
it takes. Until what returns
is not what you remembered.


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