how can I tell you?

how can I tell you? through a mouth full of ale
as a pinball machine screams in a corner. truck
screeches past. a bomb detonates in the gutter.
this. tiny. sleek as marbles rolling in my mouth
an ink trace. a half smeared stamp on a wrist
reaching over Sunday morning eggs, coffee cup
thumb and forefinger eye socket pressing, those
tinged pink whites, lash thin crater line blood
the lead singer with one hand in a pocket
on a balmy wednesday night, competing with
the bingo slots, siren wail, complimentary beer
nuts, girl who just doesn’t quite look eighteen
would she go home with you, darling? If you
asked with a finger dipping, tracing her wrist
lip curled as though you could be kidding, but
she knows you are not. is anyone ever really?
how can I tell you? in the morning as the first
beams tint your sleeping body hospital blue
filtered through the makeshift curtain, grainy
looking where I knew you to be unblemished
as a bathtub lip, or garden hose water stream
curving into a giggling mouth of milk teeth