They All Have Noses

The trick is to enjoy them without obligation, attending to the proper discipline, nonattachment and yet not detachment. I’m tired of hearing “I couldn’t help myself.” Let’s admit the truth. People all have noses. even as they shift to be studious while taking my exam in American Literature. I peer at them from the head of class and am attracted by their naturalness. They do not notice that I enjoy their breasts [noses]. I watch as one twists to scratch her back, as one, pen before his lips, gazes to the right for a thought, and as one, her heel on rung of chair, book on thigh, elbow on book, writes with her right hand, her left on her chin. Beyond all this, inevitably, are their noses. The light on the chalkboard has danced and dances through palm leaves and Venetian blinds in pattern. People all have noses. I can return to this; it’s always true. They all have noses.

17 December 1982, San Diego