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.