I’m reading Rachel Carson first in the book, then on the news, the rising ocean waters and the constant forays against barrier islands. The latest barrage of hurricanes is like one of her chapters, with a sentence or two for the swamped dunes, the battered boardwalk, and paragraphs galore to salute the shoreline cottages picked apart by wind. I have a choice these days. I can both read the future and also live it. Except it’s not my choice.
Like a share of daily bread, I exalt in your leavened sourdough body.
All this sex repossesses the sensual world. groping toward heaven, breasts like flying buttresses
Ancient warmth fleeting in my chest. I still hear what’s happening through that door ajar down the hall.
Sounds give succor to the blind communicant, a vernacular of blossoms, grunts like Gothic spires.
I once knew a woman who raised sleaze close to poetry. Her love filled with dust. Yet her breath was an all-night wind.
She was really a network of lines that converged at a vanishing point. Her kisses fell like a fine fragrant melancholy rain.
Bodies grow older and no longer know us. That is all the fear in these quivering notes.
Rock the bed harder, hone my nerves to arrowheads. All this for an ovum in sperm pond.
Here on the battlements of heat and delight, I kill the background like so many cockroaches.
Even to the sweat-soaked, penetration has this strange air of old-world majesty. Knowing our parents did it, we respect their posed faces more.
I have learned what old photographs have to do with me. Framed in orgasm and love – they lighten failure’s load.
The room expands to encompass years. Memories chill my foreskin.
Touch it – a childish wish in grownup hands. Like scaffolding. Like tears.
A 900 NUMBER
She made her living delivering phone sex. Her looks were immaterial. Her tongue, her throat, her voice – those were the curves, the siren eyes, the dress tightened round the thigh like a hangman’s rope.
Her kid tucked in, prayers said, it was time to tell strangers stories with more fantasy than fairy tales, more insight into their weaknesses than God.
She wore her hair down, a robe around her body, and puffy pink slippers covering her feet. Like a phony spiritualist, she read straight from her client’s own script, embellished with pants, sighs, and a cry, loud enough for the intended ear, but cupped with a hand, so it wouldn’t wake the child.
The pay was okay. The hours worked to her advantage. And nobody knew what she did for a living. Sure, she pitied the guys on the other end of the line. And she once pitied herself but that just didn’t pay enough.
THE SUPERHERO IN THE BAR
He drinks like a superhero, a mutant whose powers are mostly in the mind, but who tangles with the supervillain of whatever is on tap. He doesn’t bother tackling weaklings like karaoke or trivia. Nor the other drinkers, too human for the likes of him, with all that sports talk, and whining about local politicians. And there’s men trying to pick up women. And women trying to pick up men. Maybe if they could pick up five at a time they’d be in his league but he figures they’ll all be going home lonely tonight. Meanwhile, the bad guy tries a little of that head fuzz on him, some wobble to the knees, a few extra bubbles to his gut. He stumbles, crashes to the floor. Once again, he saves the city from himself.
Bound high above your head, how should I not revert when prayer's inner depths shudder, insidious as a thorn,
into this wretched plunge, into a tenderness that devours its own, disrupts the night joins two disparate things
like a wounded heart and a dark beast Look, where pain goes in a los that darkly clings, moving through the unclear of my eyes,
my soul to something now gravity - oh gladly I would if… but one tongue only speaks. Only this misery
do we echo, a place that won't let go. that questions the image, the reflection. Yet when your own raises its hand – it sadly loses shine,
yet sarcasm needs to choose someone, So simply consign. It stays with us, stillness, a struggle; reading, stirs as if trapped. Sweet song - things written down on paper, God.
this crack in time, blindly chains the disparate together so that this is where our blackness is. Who knew what when?
Who, then, received the news? world in ripples: you and me.