& in the mornings sometimes awoke so cold
—the wind in Iowa City was brutal—
those days of doubt, those days of troubled land,
that I did not want to get out of bed &
creep down crooked stairs to the bathroom
on the second floor shared with two other graduate students,
one also a poet who was innocuously quiet & thin,
& the other a medical student studying the art of the body.
I ate the same avocado, tomato & cream cheese
sandwich for lunch & dinner—later
in New York City it was pasta shells
with marinara or olive oil & broccoli—
I liked the order & monotony, because to want
was to tempt the gods, because modesty
was the equivalent of survival.