It is quiet where I am and I have said very little

The tattoo of a spade on your arm
Warm rain dripping from the neighbour’s
balcony onto our teacups
Our yellowing plants
You say to me
Why have we waited so long
to observe the sun setting into the grey of
the newspaper covering glued onto the
glass wall, shielding us from the August sun

Long have I kept this lie inside the basin
of my lungs
I’ve allowed breath to travel half-way
burning back down

I cannot let you watch we write
just as I cannot have an audience with
you in my bed

I can meet you afterwards
A new woman
Maybe with new eyes
Clean, soft hair

From my hand I will let out a bird
That I have not eaten it in a ravenous want
of a voice your innocent heart can admire
means that in that moment I am free of all sin

I have hidden behind a desk for hours
Because our small lives are only beautiful
to me if their simplicity is turned into art
Maybe this is a perversion
Or maybe it is the only way it makes sense
Already there are not enough hours
in the day
for pleasure

In the thick of a quiet whisper of the night
In the melt of red sunlight onto our
balcony I want you to know
On an early morning I’d like to see you
Don’t tell me how you got there
Outside the floor length windows
is a field
And beyond: mountains
We are here forever

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Fever

I feel an uninterrupted love
The vacancy sign above my bed
has burnt out long ago
A shortage in the fuse sizzling
into a flicker of last consolations

I lie on this bed in a black veil
Smoke rising from my fried hair
My head is on fire baby
Artemis is making her slow ascent
Sometime–I don’t know when exactly–
she will make her full entry
And by then I’m sure I will not even notice this pain

*

If the conditions are right
We can once again take a drive
I’ll say yes, I know this road
Know it in my reptilian brain
Used to drive down here every week
On the way to midnight

I dreaded the one stop light
that took ages to turn
Suspending me in a resentment
of the concentrated, neutral power
of objects

Ask me about the new city I’m in
and I’ll tell you I’ve already had time to
make bad memories
The street I don’t like to visit because the
tight spaces between the houses,
the houses and the sidewalk,
remind me of when I was thrown
like a marionette
from the edge of the world

A red light encompassing a field
we walked past
Dividing us from it faintly a steel fence
I was sure we were alone in the world
and separate from each other
That I was far from home
A menacing and incomprehensible dark
was stealing my words…
I was not talking fast enough
The edges of the world were not muted
separating like yolk out of a white silk membrane,
dripping from a domestic god’s finger, but sharp
Pointed from all sides in my direction

The Time is Up

We stopped in the parking lot
Of an elementary school
Across from a strip club
Adjacent to a Freemason hall

It was our first road trip

In the back of the car
On a hanger
strung up was your suit

I liked watching you hold on
to the steering wheel
with both hands

The smell of hot fabric seats
Bargain soap
The scent of you on your collar
bouncing between the windows

This is what I think of
when I notice a book
I never finished reading

If you only knew how
The idea of your body
Your curly hair
is tied to my habits

 

For a month or so

For a month or so
we were being terrorized
by a hair toucher

He had weaving fat hands
with short fingers
A fedora
And a brown cardigan
that encased his bilious stomach

He was always making out some
gulping sounds
but never saying any actual words

He’d rush in
to a stumped scene of young girls
and touch the hair of the nearest one
Maybe spring to a couple more
with glimmering eyes
Gulp Gulp Gulp

On being broke and bad at parties

Slip five bucks in my pocket and I’ll shock
the house with my imagination
Or bore with my insanity
Take magazine worthy cover photos
of you in your velvet leotard
your dog
and your fiancé
in your green kitchen

I’ll direct a movable play
Interactive
If you have at least three rooms
With enough guests we can join
two tables together
and all the men can
wear Hawaiian shirts and bead necklaces
while they sit in the image
of the last supper
A photographer with his retina automatic
in the middle taking a picture reflexively
While in another room someone is
announcing about blood spatter and
conspiracies, orgies, and trust funds

But ask me about my hard day
And I’ll platoon
Sink into a chair
like a wet suit
and evaporate out of this life

Nightmares

Tonight I saw the full moon
And I too was full and bright

Put me in a room
With red light
So I can once again
Fall to sleep

And let me burn in my dreams
So I can walk shielded
In the day time

Smokers

I swiped
the MasterCard through and through
The receipt waved in the air
of the beat up air conditioner
Flew out of my hand

Slipped out like
velvet skin of a wild thing
looking for a small space
to squeeze into

On the wall opposite
was an upside down crucifix
At the register a woman
who looked like she smelled
like Shepherd’s pie
I trusted her

She gave me my room key
Led me to my motel room
Opened the door for me
and switched on the lights

On the orange carpet
Were abandoned painting frames
And the walls covered
in rectangular stains
lighter than the walls

The woman made a tisk sound
as she edged away:
“Smokers.”

What should I do

When I was born
My father bought my mother
A single red rose
With a long stem
For which he was charged extra
And it lays pressed
After all these years
In a book by their bedside

What should I do now
With the white rose
You gave me
That I pressed,
in an empty journal,
whose brown stem sticks out
Like a prodding finger
In the sunlight
On this never used writer’s desk
Facing to guard all the light
of the high windows
Like a ship’s bow

White is for sick people, I said.

Home

The specter of the fat, black, woman medium
Voice high pitched
Serving thoughts back to you
on a beat

As though the history of a people
Survives in the belly
Of a woman
Safely protected by the walls of her house
Her intuition
Worthy of currency

Threesome

I am in power
because I am the one
walking behind the woman in front of me
on this sidewalk
I would be uncomfortable if I was her
I would be wondering if the person behind me
is staring at my ass
And I am
staring at her ass

The similarities between us
are ridiculous
We both have long, wavy, brown hair
We both have long legs
We are both skinny
We both have an average ass

In the slow traffic beside us
A guy in a black truck leans across
his steering wheel
He looks over his sunglasses
like he just saw a flamingo
walking the streets

I wonder which one of us
he’s checking out

Or is our double presence the miracle?