It was Augustus
who exiled Ovid—
clay apartment
with a wheat broom.
                                   “I always knew
you’d have to be in the world
a bit more,” my affair said, long afterward,
on his new coast. His groin was a dark corsage
to be caressed. At times around him I felt I had
died inside my unsureness.
                                    Last night
someone new.
He went in,
and we broke out in a sweat, and I went to taste
the salt of his armpit,
                                    not permanent,
like the Latin sentences
in translation, which in English were
fidelitous, like a ledger tracking ownership,
but also astringent: a sky without clouds.
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