The Boiler

Britt Gambino

THE OTHER ROOM

An affair is a room to disappear into for a few hours, another place to hide.

– Nick Flynn

I.

Your brown freckles come after
the wine-tongue sky I’m sucked

in between your teeth, my skin
neon-lighting for a fling.

I go home to the shared
towels and locks.

We get up every day
and then disappear.

I notice this rock sometimes
gets twisted around my finger.

II.

I am pulled under by a fingernail
or a sentence I haven’t heard before

but I don’t invite them in,
not to the walls we hold each other to.

Body parts are stories I read, the lines
of women I can’t keep track of who said what

lips I did or did not kiss.
Let me smell a girl in

a jacket or a back pocket
of three-day old jeans.

WHICH WAY YOU FALL

(after The Bridge documentary)

Drive the bridge and wave the trees. We give credit to our bodies and none to the
shoes we wear. Is it the water that pulls us under? The survivors of the Golden
Gate managed to flip their trajectories mid-air and escape broken necks. Backs are
spliced into organs, not quite the end. My eyes close in on the sign laced through
the chain-link: “Closed for seismic retrofitting.” If a bridge is unprepared for an
earthquake, does that mean it can no longer prepare its people for death? Will they
have to move south to Bay? Tragedy knows no navigation. Found: one female, post-
shark
, eyes destroyed by crabs. Do you want this skin? Take too much and end up
any way you’d like. The gods aren’t looking for you—despite the man who said he
was carried to safety by a sea lion. The dark rocks beat us all from time to time.
We sink blue and swim yellow. Our doors know no entrance or exit. Records skip,
skipping history. A little unconsciousness in another set of arms. We love looking
out the window into the air.

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Britt Gambino work has appeared in anderbo, DecomP, The Battered Suitcase, and the blog at Visual AIDS, among others. She holds an MFA in Poetry from The New School and works at Gotham Writers’ Workshop.