See him there, bent low over the glass-top case on the small
wooden desk, lamp-lit with a golden glow as he takes another pin
and, with a surgeon or a sculptor's care, gently presses it through
another specimen, the third in his collection of past loves.
See them there against the cork-board, like so many beetles
or butterflies. See one tear loose, the biggest one, the first;
see it follow him around in his day-to-days, see him feed it,
voluntarily at first, thoughts in the mornings and dreams
in the night. Watch it begin to grow, at first perched
upon his shoulder, watch it grow fat, so fat it's almost
formless, its mouth always open, doing impressions of baby birds,
goldfish out of water. Look now as he is forced to carry her
around on his back, can't bring himself to quit feeding her,
she eats the other past loves and begins to eye the sketches
of the future ones, too. Look - he comes home one day to find her
half the size of the room, his journal open, tearing page
after page, stuffing them into her hungry mouth.
See him take her hand and, crying, lead her out of the house,
outside the city limits, into the forest and the river by the place
where they first made love. Watch him kiss her on her finally
closed mouth, hold her beneath the water until the bubbles stop.
Look as he searches until he finds the biggest, heaviest rock,
places it upon her chest, squeezing out a last bubble that comes up,
pops, and emits one final syllable: