I have a snail on the tip of each finger
as I duck below the window
on the public library's 2nd floor.
Poisonous blue light pours over the sill
and I blink beneath it, under my increasing hat.
My fingertips grow numb, the snails start to move
toward the first knuckles, the windowsill melts,
I hide in the trashcan. I shiver and the shells
make music on the garbage-streaked walls.
Then a noise at the lid, and an alien
creature smiling: the smile the most alien
part of her, her eyeglasses built into her skin,
I offer her the snails and she gobbles them up
with bittersweet little sounds,
then I produce a thin goblet of red wine
made from the poison light distilled into
this small communication, turned purple.