Between the trapeze and your feet,
for the sake of argument, we’ll write it so,
there must have been a space where she was solitary

before she dropped. I read once how a woman
died in plastic surgery, hankering after
the more herself. Frightened, perhaps, of solitary,

she can’t have dreamed how her husband
would push the heels of his hands hard
against his eyes at night when he was solitary

hoping to catch sight of her moving face
he’s losing, or his eyes to bleed. Whisper at one end,
the child at the other hears as if you both were solitary

and telling the secretest things. The sound
travels up and over. But stand in the middle
and you sound surround sound, utterly solitary.

Too, the drummer in a band I loved and never
met has died in his sleep at thirty-four, for no
good reason. Each of these events is solitary.

Well I’m not gay, but he won me over, I’d sing
at his funeral. Now I turn to Jay sometimes and try
to breathe: night with or without him is solitary.

Elsewhere I read how Edison would hold a steel
ball in either hand as he considered these things.
If he fell to sleep, a ball, a solitary

ball would drop and he’d awake. Whatever came
unto his mind just then, that was the answer
to the question, a kind of Solitaire.