Whether or not it is a curse that I want you
does not diminish the way my body has become
a neighborhood stalked by perverts and thieves.
Some say a woman and her blender are inseparable.
That sheets and pans and vacuums are the children
of love. But if she says otherwise, says I crave
the hard meat of your thighs, who is to judge her
for being anything but a heartbeat wrapped
in tongues? Who is she but the lucky millionth
one whose want makes a snuff film out of the way
a bowl’s lip cracks an egg? There is something
about a dark room that turns me animal—
clawing at the walls to learn what holds me in,
licking the carpet to know where you have
and haven’t been. My life is an old sentence—
First comes love, then comes marriage.
The gods are tired of that story. They erase me
in parts. My heart is half-gone. It beats
half bovine, half she. If I were to build a body
around my body, an architecture that proved
a woman is not a church, or a train station,
or a county jail, would you see how I backed myself
up to the doorknob, how each of our openings
is nothing if not an otherworldly kind of light?
And if I asked you, lover, home-wrecking beast,
to try each of your keys in that gleaming lock,
would you? Would you turn me?
If in the morning, the plants have died and we feel
no different for having broken every heart
and heirloom in the hutch, know that ruin was our destiny.
We’ve been monsters all along.
ENEMIES, LOVE YOUR
As a child, I stapled my fingers together
Sometimes you are born without wanting to sign for peace
At the time of conception, the body is a dumb TV at the curb
Sometimes you say no and get diamonds anyway
Sometimes you are a toothpick in a man’s mouth
In school they teach you about the many colors of dying
The Virginia Woolf, the AIDS, the Wrong From Birth
I am always loved by men dressed as Jesus
They give me their Word
They take away their Word
Sometimes blood is only arithmetic
How little of it, how much to avoid zero
Planes crash when you are afraid to tell the truth
Velocity is a privilege, and headrests, and language
If a knife is at your throat, you say Every angle is terrifying
Sometimes Rilke will not sit with you in the photo booth
Sometimes beauty does not want to be seen with you
There are men who will title your life “Violent, with Reckoning”
Sometimes a sneaker is the only boat to leave on
Sometimes a girl will become
Not less than, but an opening
When flowers wilt, so does love, so does god
There is music when what you love crosses the ledger line
Every good boy does fine
No good man lets a pretty thing die