They Will Sew the Blue Sail

Take Yourself Out | Talia Shalev


The Waiter Watches You

As if a woman could lease her hunger

to any bidder, then wear his coat

as a charm against the shitting birds.

A Soda?

The silhouettes sweeping now

across the sky hide the sharpness

of the beaks they bear. Distance is

a second skin. It may be the only way

to learn the anatomy of birds

is to eat them.


Birds lost their teeth

to become more aerodynamic.

That you are not going anywhere

may be your best quality.

Why don’t people leave

seduction at this: a woman alone

cannot see all of her moles.


Pencil in the air. Mascara on your wand. Across the patio,

woman in the window, you an hour ago, rubbing

glass, hand as sponge.

“What will it be.” Cardboard coaster on the table.

Because thresholds are sexy, we make them over

and over.

A Soda?

It is not the same to stand shirtless

in your own rented kitchen with cold yogurt

at the end of a warm, washed fork.

A Soda

Right, overheard: “The disorder

of lust.” Over her water: hands

swat air, tip to drink, nearly.

Someone orders quiet.

Not all birds can be

song birds, people forget.



The weight of a bird’s feathers—more

than its skeleton.


Cardboard coaster on the table—face down.


Face is text, if you are thinking

of a man. Spine up.

Of distance. Height. Distance.

His skin. The riotous stubble

of your own thighs? Now that

is one way to feel an animal.



“Holding court,” someone might say.

Legs flush with wicker, skin

newly riddled—an empty glass

is an object waiting.


As if flight were

in a single feather.

It’s not.

The Waiter Watches You

In the moment before patience turns

erotic, then turns for good.


Of course, what is more intimate

than a disease?

An Empty Glass

Spine to the sun. And craning

to see it, as if, as through

a pinhole, when you

turned back

around, you might find

your image

projected into the chair

across from you.


A Soda

For the hand

that interrupts


on the glass.

A thumbprint quick to dissolve.

To see in a feather

the joke

of ornament

which is


no company.