Valentine’s day

Do buildings breath like trees?
She asked the question like she was
trying a strange flavor of ice cream:
avocado, beet, red bean. I didn’t know
how to reply, so I asked How do
you mean? She said something then,
about the carbon cycle, the water cycle,
the Vedic cycle – I’m not sure, really,
I quit listening because a duck landed
in front of us with a twenty in its mouth,
or beak, or quacker, whatever: I watched
as it made its way to the grass, where it kept
trying to eat the bill.
                        As if from a distance
I heard a voice calling my name, tugging my
sleeve, turning my face to hers. She’d finished
her piece, was waiting for an answer, expectant.
If you can take that duck’s bill away from it,
I said, I’ll answer your question. She opened
her mouth like a drawbridge and stared.