He laughs through cigarette smoke and turns
Into a cloud, shows me the perfect judgment
of trowel pulling mortar into precise lines.

One brick becomes ten, stretches off to a corner
where he's already imagining the next set.
His voice is low, intimate as he tells me

about last night's woman. Desire is a rhythm
in his voice. The sun paints his face with shadow.
I imagine tactile understanding of her body,

weight and yield, angle of her knee, her soft vowel
moan. I hand him bricks like offerings over the wall
we build, he uses his thumb to smooth the lines

of cement. Later, he takes me to a pool hall.
flirts with the waitress, poised to break,
cradles the cue in the round of his fingers,

and pistons it forward. The crack is deafening
and I think of the sound brick makes when hit
with a hammer, but he only hooks an arm

around her waist and presses her to him
as if he knows her tensions, how much
weight is enough to make her topple.