so many tragedies coursing through this blood, alive and electric,
haunted by Phlegethon’s unnavigable currents humming
like a razorblade pressed to skin.
when night falls: a poet, a jester, a spectator, speechless
at where your kneecaps press against breathing soil, confessing
all the ways in which you have sinned — howling, trembling
at the scalpel’s strict signature across your bulging vein
carving out a slow death of broken memories through sinew
and fat. let the expired peanut oil wash over your famished mouth
like the niagara, chugging black tea powder with water
till you choke up coins. dusty and bleak. because what else
is there to lose? who can you believe now? the xī wáng mǔ/yǜ huáng
shàng dì/guānyīn/no deity? you turn against the windows of Rochester
and beg to fall back asleep within entangled dreams in hairnets.
to avert your eyes from the righteous. to forget hands licked
by hot oil, scars and burns like ophiolites, the infuriating buzz
of blotched blades tearing through bathroom tile and fractious
midnight shivers like napkins in the sooty wind. your fingers
begin to reach through spiral gaps surprised to find themselves
still breathing. breathing. beneath the soft rain, you toss your head
back: mouth closing and opening like fish. you want to make love
to the night, find it while it is still soft as eraser,
before it pinks & tighten the womb as it enters like a kiss.
memory welts inside you, siphoned from your lungs through
the embowed lunette, where the sun hangs like a flame.
The light caresses so softly you could cry.