On Her Bed, East Village NYC, C-Print, 2000.
the eyelash moon grazes the roof
of the bar where the actresses drink,
and the blue blink of the neon martini icon
eclipses her light,
a satin pump leads a leg over the bar stool:
You are safe for now, my love.
It is remarkable how the female genitalia
can resemble the lily.
It is remarkable: your milky skin and delicate neck
atop your die-in-childbirth frame—if I had a tail I would
Your eyes are dull and fearless on a night no other girl is out.
We drink to your boldness—you fitting the (victim) profile
to a T
and the Disemboweler still at large.
Rumor has it he beat one victim with her own arm
torn out at the shoulder; yanked another's uterus out with his
I heard that he lay next to his victims afterwards
mimicking their broken bodies, sprawled out
like swastikas, their frozen expressions, , records of
losing one's soul
Can I interest you in a tangerine?
I met the farmer up in Bakersfield. He said,
one day God ate an orange and spit out the seeds.
The trees that grew bore tangerines.
You impart your past with less discretion with each gin and tonic.
I reveal nothing because I want to go back and kill who I was
and those who knew me then. An orgasm of the soul—
that must be how killing feels.
(Of course the key to killing is not to brag about it afterwards.)
But you wouldn't understand because you are green—
I had lived and died and been reborn and died and been reborn
when you were just the violence he would someday do to you in
your father's eyes.
You are a lily: slender, pale, and hollow.
I do not think I'm better than you; it's only a suspicion.
Your courage comes from ignorance, from liquor,
but if I wanted you for your mind, I'd fuck your
ear. You pout and watch the dancers, an old cowboy and his lady,
so let's change the subject and dance that way
and rub and kiss and dance the way the lilies sway
as we hear the tortured voice of Miss Kitty Wells,
sweeter than the tangerine section in your mouth,
or even whole groves of tangerines,
or the tangerine (on the bar),
with its tangerine-colored color,
oranger than oranges, marigolds, or the flame of the soul.
Agriculture is violence. The soul is what's looking out your eyes