romania, sideways

supposedly, we all come with

hair clean, combed free of nits.

don't share towels, she warns,

everything is contagious.

sheets, pillows, children–

all need to be cleaned with

bleach.  then dried.

 

supposedly, someone alone

becomes a nuance, blue-green

and floating on the surface.  a

fruit fly, finding solace on the ripe

bottom of a pineapple.  taken

 

on the train, windows boarded

and air-conditioning broken,

several beads reform and dislocate.

the fruit flies, the lice; all bedmates,

all comrades.  shaking heads

 

won't deter the desperate from

offering an old jar of homemade

plum preserve in exchange for

orange c-plus, fizzy in the bottle.

dry-crusty bread rinds, half-mouldy

cheese:  the whole basket shared.