We smile at each other
and I lean back against the wicker couch.
How does it feel to be dead? I say.
You touch my knees with your blue fingers.
And when you open your mouth,
a ball of yellow light falls to the floor
and burns a hole through it.
— Ai, from “Conversation,” Vice: New and Selected Poems. (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1999)