cinders

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Rive as I reach your core — primordial

fornication sprung from the dripping roots

 

of the world tree, cum and splinter. Vernal

equinox. “Toute la nuit.” Dusk fruit’s

 

marrow. I know something about stirring

the tree’s flurry. I, too, have been lovesick.

 

These scars are not from others. The slicing

of my flesh I do myself, just to pick

 

at scabs. Burn stumps. Lightning strikes. I despoiled

that gap, gouged out half my soul. A rough ride,

 

Oui, but it can be done. You want passion

and I want …? to sink into your roots: coiled,

 

packed, tight. All my metaphors leave you pried

loose, pulped with cinders, tattered, all riven.

tatterhood

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I have followed the asphalt of your spine’s

rough mile; on down by swelter-greased steepness;

 

by back alley’s cant; by your obscure shrine’s

massive quaking hills — into your darkness

 

— shivering dark. This red-tongue landscape.

Tatterhood. Gaped girl-thing in dark jungle.

 

I must gauge this myth by the span and shape

of your splayed-out hips, the taste of your skull,

 

where your fox-headed guide leads me to play.

To pray at your shrine — to out fox the fox —

 

to gauge your gape stretched lush and surreal.

I’ll breathe in your dark, your ideal. The way

 

city’s breath makes a park real — or a box

breathing in the ground makes broken bones real.

squirrel-cry

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This glum bedlam. This sober and sexless

essence. This — I gave up to get better.

 

Others kiss. Others fuck. Others say, “Yes.”

Recall slick thighs, clenched teeth; what came after.

 

Recall, too, that I was once someone’s balm.

Sodden and gorged. Crafted in beauty, formed

 

in lust. Salve for a burning heart. Maelstrom

in those tender hollows. To be transformed

 

like this. To be sloppy in my moans. Curl

of lip. Nails stubbed. What came after heaving

 

upon sweat-soaked sheets making chit-like squirrel

grunts. What came much later with abstaining.

 

Why did you let your squirrel-cry come undone?

Even the morning breeze feels forsaken.

monstrous

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Sucking on the onyx, the molasses,

in you, while our mothers in the kitchen

 

chortle and your country-hedge of brat fuzz

tickles my nose. Wets my chin. If we’re kin

 

we’re a queer kin. There’s hissing in your hair.

We’re snakes and snake charmers. There is nothing

 

here to vex the tongue. Clit and cock, prayer

fat with blood. An itch. Your fingers moving,

 

pulling me in. Perhaps they’ll notice grass

stains, flushed cheeks, itches itched. You’re serpentine

 

just now, spine arched, hips buckled, monstrous

with need. Sublime in the morning sun. Crass

 

with cum, with becoming love’s lore. Your seam

split wide, your hedge soaked. Perhaps they’ll notice.

hoar frost

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I must be careful. I am too in touch

with the wild. The wild in me. There are fish

 

that dream under the black ice. I would clutch

them, suck on their spines, for I am ghoulish

 

when it comes to design. I was designed

for ill. Ill use. Ill skill. My misshapen

 

passions, after a fashion — thick as rind,

hard as crust — follow all that is heathen:

 

cast out. No Eden for me. Hoar frost — hot,

hairy, bad — runs wild in me. I would taint

 

you. Besmirch your faith the way that the ice

lulls the fish to sleep. To leave you distraught;

 

leave you wanting. I shall betray your faint

faith in love. Love is no virtue. It’s vice.

dime bones

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These marks of longing. Skin less like cacao,

flesh washed to the root, succulent like crab.

 

Mother of sorrows, I collect them now.

The way others collect scars on skin, scabs.

 

The way others collect loss. This is how myth

is made. Not from scars but from what wont heal.

 

Not from a bag of dime bones and a fifth

but from this. Rankle. Putrefy. Rot squeal.

 

This and these. I collect. But I won’t show

you. Sleaze tease. I won’t show where I ooze,

 

levee-like, flood seeping around the seams.

Mine is all that the body spits out. Slow.

 

Steady. Hard. Myth of loss. Myth of the blues.

Fleshed ooze. Too dazed. To cut. To joy. Flesh screams.

bacchanal

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Strange change, indeed. Who am I to question?

I’ve come late to the gate; dank with withered

 

grass and shade. Debauchery is foreign

here and deprave one more forgotten word.

 

A touch of burlesque. Silent movies thrill.

Theda Bara’s voracious eyes promised

 

teeth in your flesh, nails down your back, the chill

of sharp ice countered with hot wax. Encrust

 

me. Trust me. Be my scab. I’ve yet to be

stared at the way she stared. Shadow and bow.

 

Gloom puts the rage into umbrage, anal

into bacchanal. I’ve followed many

 

wheel ruts through blown stone not once asking how,

searching for your sun’s night, your sparkle’s skull.

come quick

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If you must disappear, love, trust the trees.

Take the mojuba bag I made for you.

 

Fill it with stretching salt, morning glories,

Lady Marinette’s Bwa Chech root. Make do

 

with trees that love you. Follow the skylark

to my land of witchcraft and sodomites.

 

If you are seen remember: be oak bark,

be leaf and vine. Be still. This hex, these rites,

 

you’ve done this before. Just get out. I’ll wait

for you. Signs will come my way. Always do.

 

I want you safe. I want you before fear

rises, rain hisses in the leaves and hate

 

knocks on your door — I have faith in you.

Travel light now, love. Come quick. Disappear.

shorthair

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This is a prayer. Our kiss hang in the air —

like clocks, it stops. Tickless. I have no more

 

ticks left to give. “By the curly shorthair,”

the kids say, “odds bodkins.” I still deplore

 

just how helpless I’ve become. It was not

love since I stood up and lovers lay down.

 

It was not sundown since I get distraught

at dusk and this was bright. Blood had caked brown

 

around my nostrils. Bruises filled the crook

of my arm. That cough. Easy as despair.

 

Easy as soap. “There are stains that baffle

soap.” That’s some crap soap, bub. Be suds that shook

 

the stain in the cat’s pajamas — this prayer:

it starts as a kiss, it ends as a yowl.

cupid’s malcontents

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My trash-talk needs work. I want more than gloom’s

muzak, more than these chrome mall mannequins,

 

half-clothed, standing guard near the changing rooms.

Stripped, I abhor what I see. It frightens

 

me how I’ve changed. Once I reveled in loss,

desperate for your tongue. Transfixed with romance

 

halfway down my throat. I loved all chaos;

all of Cupid’s malcontents in hot pants.

 

I was all that I’d take a bullet for

because there will always be some foul dude

 

afraid of the fab, of soft boys, who’d bust

a cap in anything rad and cocksure.

 

Picture this: a queen standing hard and nude

in a changing room — hard and still in lust.