ODE TO A WOMAN
with a knife-tongue for cutting forbidden fruits—
the vessel to her viscous rasp;
her voice box with a pink-silk bow tied ‘round it
and a lion crouching inside.
with bruised-peach tissue and varicose vein
coolly swelling and collapsing at her breast
encasing (rib) cage full of hummingbirds
all buzzing her electric
with riverbed hips
where Time has carved its tender, rosy streams
and swims slow in the muted scent of
milkbath and diluted blood.
with carved-and-cratered thighs
and legs,a lush unshaven wilderness
where all her ferrous rivers meet their mouth.
with lips like petals parting for their nectar to be
supped and gardens blossomed with it—
her wet velvet up to my knuckle,
the arch of her back moulding the edge of a new moon;
I, the tide.
ON A GIRL I LOVED (THE IDEA OF)
you were a metallic blue hairpin caught on the edge of my pillowcase.
you were a book about the west coast’s hidden gems. a book about jazz.
pink sheets. pink nipples. pink nail polish—chipped finger-picking a
vintage guitar. you were lines like,you just left my house and I feel the
way Claire De Lune sounds,or I want to live inside you, looking out.
I still remember the exact pitch of your doleful sob, twanging in that
cluttered theatre dressing room. I remember how you lingered after I spit
all the venom I’d rehearsed to be honey. crumpled in the corner in a sad
salty pool, you stayed to ask,do you still love me?and when I lied yes,
you bit your lip until it bled. a few weeks later you accused me of using
you as fodder for my nonsense poetry.when all’s said and done, you were
probably right. I am an asshole, and you were my all-time favorite muse.
NO. I DON’T REALLY WANT TO DIE.
on the contrary,
i want to live electric-bluely,
with always a bellyful of dessert wine;
with always someone else’s tongue in my mouth;
with always a whole lot of flowers or fruits
or paints or pens
or drugs in one of my hands;
the other hand always thumbing a dog-eared page
in a book with an ending yet unspoiled;
and never wearing shoes.
when i talk about unraveling myself from my skin,
stepping out of it and off a ledge into unbeing,
i am really just musing about
toeing over my glassy gray shoreline,
and dipping my feet into
soaking good and deep
in that wild deluge of color and sound
dancing reckless-backward into those days
when i would light firecrackers and
stand dumbly overhead instead of running in time—
those days when i would let people live inside me
like my body was built specially for them,
and then evict them before they could pack their bags—
those days when pink was pinker and green was greener
and red was Holy Mother of God!
no. i don’t really want to die.
i want living to more closely resemble
what i once knew as Being Alive.