Windows in the Underworld
Lady, I can give you the price
of the latticework, of my labor.

I can recommend wrought iron,
show you where I’ll drill

into the brick, paint you a picture
of how the shadows fall

through fretwork and guarantee
that no other part of a man

gets through my handiwork.
But I can’t tell you which is better—

being safe from intruders or being
unable to flee from interiors.

This is a question of statistics, 
figuring the odds of break-ins and of blazes,

assigning levels of risk to individual
fears, deciding which torments you more.

Lady, I say, since we just met,
I can’t say if no or yes is right for you,

only that I’ve had many satisfied customers
from whom I’ve never heard again.

And then she presses herself,
or doesn’t, against me, like 

a creature backed into a corner venturing
escape through the hard angle

of walls colliding, and she chooses
whether by ice, whether by fire.
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