Rube Goldberg masochist.

She builds composure about her
in precarious towers of odds and ends,
stuck together with tacky and
feigned attentiveness

Because she knows that he
can’t stand such
dubious constructions

Can’t see a tower
stacked so high and wobbly
without wondering
if he couldn’t knock it down with just
a nudge
applied thoughtfully
to that weak point on the left…

Schadenfreudian physicist.

He tucks smiles
and spiny nettle words
into her varied fissures

and watches her infrastructure rock
on the verge of dissolution.

A calculation and


Later, she’ll notice that his touches
are at their most tender
when they’re brushing detritus
from her brow.

“You’re lovely just like this,”
he’ll mutter, lips against her jawline
as she blithely unfurls,
bruised and unbound
in all her rubble.