Myself When I Am Real
Say that my body // is not a sequin dress— Is not a raw fish, being stripped of scales. Say that I am not // a drunken disco ball In a lonely skating rink. Or the deep wishing-well // that the starfish fell Into. Say that I am the seagull // before its bad reputation. Say that I am the pigeon // But not the pigeon-shit. Say that I am the cassette tape Whose hair unwound, underwater— Whose hair, you swim through. The record player, whose vinyl Will never scratch. Call me, by my birth name— Michelangelo. Call me, by my birth name— Tuira Kayapó. Remind me, how the sky was created. Say, “I split the sun, like yolk & let the day fall into me.” If our love, is a trash bag Please, don’t let it tear. You are the reasons that I live. You pour my coffee black. You critique the dim glow, the mint- Blue hue of the television screens. You stumbled into me [Again and again] Like a child, discovering the word Domestic-violence. How dumb, must we have been— To hold each other so frailly. To hold anything at all— The blue landscape of January days. The taste of pan dulce. The gummy smile of a teething child. The pearl in an oysters’ mouth, round Like // My semen on your tongue.
A dove falls from the clouds, I name it Rory. I wring its neck like a washcloth // then wipe My face. I want everything to have purpose— The beak, the bones, the baby blue Vodka veins. This is such a useless fucking poem. [He’s not coming back]. I grind his wings into glitter & throw him into the air // like a child. I grind his wings into ash & throw him into the earth // like a casket. Part Two: Stop it. Stop writing about him Already. Fuck. None of this is about Rory. It’s all about me. The ocean cut its sky two sets of blue. A horizon bleeds at sunset. I’ve always wanted to put those lines in a poem Somewhere. They sound so tragic & beautiful. But they mean nothing to me — Rory.
Image by Susannah van der Zaag