adept at it

you’re a line drawing bureaucrat
in the periodical Punch the squirl of
your nose incomplete a teenager
stares at you in a dentist’s
waiting room
in 1964 you didn’t ask
to be drawn

or a butterfly tat
on a girl’s shoulder in 2000 you’re
here for the long haul petty monkey
gluing through bars with her slipping
haikus into drinks
that can’t be

you’re a bear walking out of the
woods in a New Yorker cartoon
in 19
57 now
incinerated deciphered
don’t search back issues or archives
you’re just a breath

or a poem you’re
sound waves
seeking an ear in Midlothian
or Melbourne you’re the
perfect white of your mother’s