Though our radiator is painted the color of the walls
we know he's there. Whatever we set on top of him
bursts angrily into flame.
He has come to be known as Petulant.
He has come to be known as Wasted Space.
To be contrary, the radiator will not heat us when we need it.
"If only I could find his fucking face,"
I say to her (who sleeps beside me),
"I'd stick something in his eye. I'd stick this in his eye."
And I hold out a fork. Night has grown up around us
and this luminous fork is our only light.
By the light of our luminous fork I see
the old Mexican shortwave radio weeping on the corner.
All her tubes are cracked and it is late in the century.
No one will be putting on a hat and boots
to find tubes for her, because they can't be found.
She is like the last auk in its cage
with a shattered wishbone,
while the naturalists were helpless and could offer
to bring it something, again and again.
She is like the last passenger pigeon when it realized it was
the last passenger pigeon.
We don't notice her anymore.
"God's curse on you for ignoring me," she used to moan at night.
Now she only weeps or says her prayers,
but either way we can't hear her because her tubes are withered
and it is late in the century.
The luminous fork is also worthy of investigation:
Our grandparents cannot remember when the luminous fork first came
into their lives.
It was prefigured by the tools of Poseidon and Michael.
It has appeared in my poems before.
It is the last of the luminous flatware and is lonely
in our drawer.
Imagine a luminous fork in the company of our silverware
and their steely glances.
Think about this fork who cannot share his secrets
with the dark knives,
who will never lie with the smooth spoons.
The luminous fork knows that someday when I open the drawer
I won't recognize him among the tarnished forks pointing at me,
just as I am told one day there will come a knock at my door
that I won't answer.