and then waddled to a door without a doorknob
marked with the universal triangle for toilet.
His work begun, he signaled to an unseen hand
to soften the lamps above us to a kinder orange
so he could more easily study us, his creation,
so he could attempt to learn what can't be learned,
like why I hate tuna salad garnished with pickle,
how my father wore it on his sleeve—pink-green
like his heart—the day he busted my nose
for spitting and then again for crying about it.
How could anyone ever know this by looking?
Still, he persisted with the examination
and turned us over in his mind, prizing our flaws
because they conferred character,
even as his own body began to betray him,
the sharp pain in his groin growing sharper.
And if it had been one of us across the rope,
on the rack for art, how long would we have waited
to shout finito! or genius! once our bladders
had swelled like accordions and we were dancing