He Looked like Alex Nightengale
Jingles of Rubiaceae greeted the eyeless man like a strike
to the abdomen. His breath reeked of a mongrel’s
stolen meal, singeing over my shoulder
with ghouls buried beneath his skin yearning
to be released.
Eyes, reflecting phobias in our membranes, releasing
deadly vibratos into mochas, as the café thickened
into an unbreathable cage I longed to escape
his gaze, if not ensnared.
Sculpted hands hardened on the waitress’s wrist
like the potter’s masterpiece in a kiln
Smoldering to the touch, leaving nothing
but ashes for coffee.
In My Foxglove Dress
Your fist collided with your honey words —
like a metal pattern woven into your favorite
fall flannel. Your mother molded you as if God would announce
you, a summer monarch.
But when I see you, I see a cockroach
wearing a little hat and pleading with my shoe to spare
its life, guarding its face like I did mine.
All these years I spent loathing
those cherry stems you left on my face.
Once a roach drawn to your sticky
sweet trap and the nectarous crumbs you
Back in the Halls of Sharpsburg
I long for his familiarity like a lion longs
for water in the drying savannah, roaring —
crashing, coursing through forbidden encores back
and forth because I am
mute. A cement tongue in my mouth, my skin
an awkwardness I can’t get rid of.
I shiver like the trees at their first breathe of autumn.
I can’t see Frankenstein create that poor creature
when you created your very own that day –
on your neck and thighs.
Blood seeped from floors and from ceilings and there’s so much
you haven’t told me because you were mute —
as if you already took your life.
Don’t leave me gasping for air as the boa
tightens its grip around my neck, don’t leave
me in this desolate night where your monsters consume
me like they did you.
How dare you make the moon weep when she stands in iridescence?
How dare you?
How dare you leave like the blood that drips from your body —
a taunting dainty plop that knows too much,
that knows more than you ever told me.
You assured me
as red soaked into the carpet and into my eyes.