after Phoebe Snow
To recall the cull of this life.
That one must harvest by selective annulment
the body they will wed
and the body they will hustle
from dress to tongue on the sly
I lay as a flank in my lover’s maw
swathed in wine while warm
winds frisked the wisteria.
It was innocent.
He lashed my wrist to the mast.
He tied my blind because I wanted
to be battered in the swell
and blossoms purple still
any place he pressed his mouth
I asked for it.
By now I know, I begged:
relieve your mouth its bland aperture
Talk to me some more.
Home’s that place somewhere you go each day
In absence of his finger I have conveyed to my teeth
a relentless procession of corn chips, zoned out
on the bedroom wall.
Little my tongue does for the hole it circumnavigates.
It was a clear day, sun jigging figures from the leaves
on the alien green of College Park
I was ocular in his arms
an enormous pupil, blown open.
We knew the hour had come
by the way the light collected
raptured to several heavens
there’s no need to choose.
If choice is obviated “Le Paradis n’est pas artificiel”
his letter begins, anxiety of what is
in back of each long note.
He compares me to a garden “Why weed what winter will kill?”
Fidelity is perennial, survives the cold cloaked as a peony.
He wishes me a grand carouse at the local dive, a dry
bottom bun for my rubber burger
and another man’s sex bashful boy.
do not touch the stove you will
fuse to its element slaver over
the burn. You don’t have to go.
You’re hiding something sweet
from this swollen thumb
and from these glossy welts derives
the suspicion that I am truly sick.
Monstrously wooed by these
reports of injury, he admits
“its invocation of parts. You have a thumb! Eyes!”
Instruments of agency. Logic divides
pleasure from having
give it to me
All Medea’s remonstrations ended on a blade,
downed in the poisoned mug, draped in the tainted gown
but she never howled
when love departed
she muscled out to meet him.