ROGUE MEETS MS. MARVEL
At the banquet I ate so much the crumbs
on my lap woke up fearing they would not survive
a second confrontation, my hair fell the way
you say silver with metal whirring across the tongue.
My belly exposed the zipper on my jeans, my audience
marveled at such unaware bravado, the sweat
stained my shirt bright copper. I was born in a city
in a dangerous world, life a dumbstruck falling match
to the gasoline puddle below. You think this is a cute poem
because the crumbs smiled up at you. You think
a dog shows up in a poem just to grin at craft.
The New York Times had its first cover editorial
since 1920 on gun control and no one wonders when
nonsequitur will take us somewhere beyond information.
What have I intended for this life isn’t natural
and it isn’t dangerous as the world intended it to be.
I am not at a shore writing this. I am spread over a toilet
goaded by the crumbs of light and folly. My stomach
is asked to force out survival in order to be saved.
I am asked to sing, to perform the doubt I’ve mastered.
Eat the breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Something hurt
me as we both looked out the window. A dog laps up crumbs.
Do you see what I’m doing, I’m compressing
the way laws compress a dream into many oblong shapes.
I will belief the way you say silver into a mic,
the mechanism confronting material. In this narrative,
the figure absorbs the essence of identity
and is haunted by another body’s memories.
I realize I needed beauty the way a chase scene needs
a row of trees. A way to confine space to the language
of devotion. Nine years ago I swallowed a pebble
and today I spit out a silver bullet. I confront
the window and in the darkness gaze at my other self.
A warmth falls sidelong down my thigh is how I miss you.
I want to share with you our singing voice but instead
close into your palm two black rings. I do not see your eyes here.
Goodbye America. I saw you flex through
a broken hole. I saw you weatherproof
the guns of our failures. I say goodbye
to the weather who demands proof of leaving.
When you saw the world in half and experience
the metals of it and the gifts of it I am but a self
pronounced by luck and heavy grooming. Good
bye taut snakes by which I speak, and the wreckage, this
happened because of a discharged hunch. My first
boyfriend’s stepdad used to sniff his fingers
in front of me to see to it his son was a man after all.
I leaf comics with hands full of smoke; here I am
on the paper’s blackened edge without hue.
I suck in in an effort to not remember. The boys
at the bar who willed me to wash their garments
in gnostic pronouns, the suds stupendous against wood.
The boys at the bar who insisted they knew my center
of gravity and lifted me with the grace of a bus.
I know strength because I absorb strength, it is how
I am certain of memory’s failure, because memory
has no impact, no impression. I would like to crush
your body into your notion of the hunt, sip
this mint julep developed on grammar’s blade.
I never told my father about the incidents,
there would be no mistake over my virginity
and I wanted him to hold onto false honors.
My idiot inner voice wears a form-fitting jumpsuit
and it rages against the touches done to it.
When I came to New Orleans I looked to
the midnight for guidance, the fire stoked me
so completely my body disappeared in its pages.
The past is a mistake I’ve always wanted inside me
so I could be sure the past would die without glory
or method. I’ve built nothing but a theory of goodbyes,
the metropolis swallows a gold–alloy compound down with the meat.
What happened is a sick boy grew old in bed,
asleep forever from touch, made safe by the guilt of what happened.
A man after all. My mouth leaks assassins. They are everywhere.
DEFINITIONS OF A CARRIAGE
Let us consider the weight of a carriage next to a word like touch.
I found it was easy to join the nubs of men together. I have never believed
in the value of maps. Have smudged maps with a resistance,
drawn new latitudes and longitudes until geography appeared
the way time appeared: a sudden egoism in the shade, calendar
strikeouts over loss, a crippled mother pushing up sand.
Last night I crawled out of bed convinced of a sickness
in my joints. I considered the weight of my carriage next to a word
like touch. Joints occupy space and the skin of space. I want no
body, just a hinge, a subaltern of sun and blood. I sat under a lunar eclipse
so bright I didn’t trust the shadow my body cast.
Why should anybody value the shadow their body casts.
It is permissible to break apart based on a theory of ruin, but I am severed
so easily, I blasted a hole into power instead. In fantasizing the fall of men
I fantasized a funny tickle of agency. This too is a word that was done to me,
to us, the women sneering in the long grass to gnaw the bones of disappearance.
Agency could be the result of corporate distribution. I don’t care I want it
for all of us. As postscript as afterword, the result of corporate distribution
breathes its fermented breath into clay. My limbs awaken. I have joints
which toll my blood. If I was made from the trope of excess, then I am become
capitalism itself and like capitalism, I will piss in the bucket I was made in.
I will make the men pushing sticks from their limbs into sticks.
I will be fortune and guardian of the sticks. The men will fall away.
I will follow doomed testicular clouds.