At noon in the deadpan February sun,
I run into my neighbour, Adeline—
an actress who once fell unconscious

at our fondue dinner, fainting
in the garden from the staggering
smell of melted cheese. She starts

unsnapping the buttons of her goose down
coat. She opens it like stage curtains
to reveal the planet she carries, and laughs

excitedly as if she were suddenly swimming,
naked. Her poinsettia hair has thickened
into a flaming fern. My laugh joins hers

as the tight ellipses of her stomach bumps mine.
Any moment now, her body—so satisfyingly round—
might rise into space and not come down.