I am the call of the heartless,
the heart full,
alone, alone, alone, I say,
please don’t dredge my heart from the sea,
let it die,
let it have its time to bleed,
the cavernous thing smells of rot,
bloated corpse too tired to dig itself a grave
hollow is what it wants
let the love drain out
for the lover is too weak
to carry such a load.
let me be hollow
let me rip apart
give me the sadness
and your wounds
and let me leave.
is it okay?
is it just fine?
or is it my fault?
my lack?” —
I am the love killer,
I am murdering the music we thought so special,
that blazed between us, over and over.
I am murdering me, where I kneeled at your kiss.
I am pushing knives through the hands
that created two into one.
Our hands do not bleed at this,
they lie still in their dishonor.
I am taking the boats of our beds
and swamping them, letting them cough on the sea
and choke on it and go down into nothing.
I am stuffing your mouth with your
promises and watching
you vomit them out upon my face.
The Camp we directed?
I have gassed the campers.
Now I am alone with the dead,
flying off bridges,
hurling myself like a beer can into the wastebasket.
I am flying like a single red rose,
leaving a jet stream
and yet I feel nothing,
though I fly and hurl,
my insides are empty
and my face is as blank as a wall.
Shall I call the funeral director?
He could put our two bodies into one pink casket,
those bodies from before,
and someone might send flowers,
and someone might come to mourn
and it would be in the obits,
and people would know that something died,
is no more, speaks no more, won’t even
drive a car again and all of that.
When a life is over,
the one you were living for,
where do you go?
I’ll work nights.
I’ll dance in the city.
I’ll wear red for a burning.
I’ll look at the Charles very carefully,
wearing its long legs of neon.
And the cars will go by.
The cars will go by.
And there’ll be no scream
from the lady in the red dress
dancing on her own Ellis Island,
who turns in circles,
as the cars go by
I give you back your heart.
I give you permission —
for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound —
for the burying of her small red wound alive —
for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother’s knee, for the stocking,
for the garter belt, for the call —
the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.
She is so naked and singular
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.
As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.
knives fly at my back
from the one
I once loved,
he and his nameless redhead
have plotted my death,
have plundered what was once mine,
the once good,
the once hopeful—
all of my pretty things have been rotted through,
carrion lining my streets,
turning me to limp, spoiled meat.
he and his woman
live in my house now,
living my life like man and wife—
she dresses in my clothes, my skin,
but she wears them well,
he gifts her with his hands, his lips—
things that once belonged to me,
that I used to love,
but can never have again.
I writhe alone in the dark,
watching as my love dies slowly,
counting every drop as it drains from me,
hour by hour
it is siphoned from my veins,
snatched away from me by the two of them,
they storm in to rape and pillage me nightly,
setting fire to all that was good,
leaving me skeletal
something that was once precious
once my savior,
is now the poison my body rejects.
I’m getting lovelier by the hour.
I glow like a corpse in the dark.
No one sees how round and sharp
my eyes have grown
how my carcass looks like a glass urn,
how I hold up things in the rags of my hands,
the way I can stand through crippled by lust.
No, there’s just your cruelty circling
my head like a bright rotting halo.” —Nina Cassian, Lady of Miracles
Up to my neck,
Thick, thick.” —Sylvia Plath, Lesbos
I’d put a match to your skin,
watch you erupt in bloody flames—
the beautiful plains
of your guilty face,
the scent of your cheekbones
as they combust,
your iron heart turns to rust
I am your judge
I’ll hang you both with her red hair.
doesn’t match up
to our reality.
did you kiss her?
did you like it?
i know you did—
you loved her,
your little red lie.
with your slippery
dug deep in her mouth,
buried safely away from me,
you broke all that was good.