We yell shit when the egg carton slips and the ivory globes splatter on blue tile. And when someone leaves you bruised as a dropped pear, you spit that fucker, fucking bastard, motherfucker. And if you just got fired, the puppy swallowed a two-inch nail, or your daughter needs another surgery, you might walk around murmuring fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck under your breath like reciting a rosary. Cock and cunt — we spew them out as though they were offal, as though that vulnerable bare skin of the penis, that swaying it does like a slender reed in a pond, the vulva with its delicate mauve or taupe or cinnamon fluted petals were the worst things we know. You’d think we despise the way they slide together, can’t bear all those nerves bunched up close as angels seething on the head of a pin. And suck, our yes to the universe, first hunger, whole mammalian tribe of damp newborns held in contempt for the urgent rooting, the nubbly feel of the nipple in the mouth, fine spray on the soft palate. What does it mean to bring another’s body into our body, whether through our mouth or that other mouth — to be taken in? When life cracks us like a broken tooth, when it wears us down like the tread of old tires, when it creeps over us like shower mold, isn’t this what we cry for? Maybe all that shouting is shouting to God, to the universe, to anyone who can hear us. In lockdown within our own skins we’re banging on the bars with tin spoons, screaming in the only language strong enough to convey the shock of our shameful need. Fuck! — we look around us in terrified amazement — Goddamn! Goddamn! Holy shit!