I will be you apprentice
if you will be mine
and together we will learn
each other’s secret ways.
The tilt of your head,
or the tilt of your smile:
these, I will study.
I am an unpeeler of things
and you fascinate me.
I am the one with the house full of tangerine skins
I am the one who peels a potato just to see
the tender whiteness of the inside, even
after all those buried weeks.
You are the Mona Lisa—no,
you are the canvas when all that paint is peeled away
you are what Leonardo first saw
the blank cloth
that beat with a secret heart
that had a hundred dreams hiding
inside of it.
I want to wrap you up in all
the important clothes—the gray coat,
the red scarf, the green shirt
(with the hot cocoa stain. I made it for you,
and then slowly peel off each layer
one by one.
is a joy within itself.
I want to play pick-up sticks
with the Coliseum, or your soul—
the Roman pillars of your heart.
I want to drag away every Doric column
until what’s left
on it own.
I want to peel away the blueness of the sky
expose it for the carpet that it is
the seams and nails
our hopes are hung on.
Maybe it would be beautiful.
Maybe it would be poetry.