Come in and Get Lost  

Through the foyer of The Carlyle, playing
     dress-up in my knockoff goddess garments,
open as a mother as the gala fills with gods
     and CEOs. The squid, they say, tastes biblical,

the flood to be exact. Reminders we're survivors,
     chewing on our Hokusai fancies. I could fill this
wing with what I've been inclined to hide
     inside me: kraken, sure, corked champagne,

bronze erections of the fabled brave. The entrée
     is a siren summoned from her odyssey with nets
and sous'-knives, served with a berry soup of mid-
     day blue. I am uncomfortable with beauty.

What we kill we eat and what we spare becomes
      our savior. There's no master where there is no slave.
I said we; let's leave that be as I'm a forgery
     so skillfully constructed it outdoes the real thing.

I mean just watch me strip off this humanity;
     newest virgin in a harem, hell-bent on a takedown.


Earthquakes Are My Favorite Way to Make Islands

We ignored the cries of the carbon monoxide
     detector, coitussed in a pose like Pompeii
corpses while the cabbies grew irate outside.
     This is the last day of our lives, until tomorrow.  
When I say I'm fine I mean the sky has opened
     like an old wound under scurvy, shown me
all its cogs, I can't go back to normal thought.
     We're pretty when we sleep. We're singing old
Bon Jovi so loud all our bones are shaking,
     makes me want to break him in my mouth.

Another thrill, another man to walk with
      through the flood-lit film sets of Central Park.
It starts off like a cyst, this partnership, gets
     supersized until it's visible to strangers, just
as dangerous. A voice comes on the platform
     in the subway, warns against cavorting
with abandoned baggage, say something, it orders.
     So I tell an armed guard how we squeeze each
other's words like triggers: tongue to cheek,
     to weekends spent accruing welcome bruises.

We could quit it if we choose. His moonshine
     on my breath the next day, staving off advances
from an old friend in a dead cafe.

No Exit 

 I love your world, he said, just keep it to yourself
— I love your mouth.

 In a Star Wars-themed fever dream
     I saw him lassoed by a solar flare and held
there in a warmth I can't provide. Blue light
     clicking upon waking, wishing

caffeine came easy as a boy of twenty.
     Think these sausages have feelings.
See them smiling from the skillet, soaking
     olives plucked in Florence by a sun-fold crone. 

Wish I'd been there popping bottles
     of Prosecco by the boastful shadow
of that lady. Can't fake mornings undone
     by a brain as overanxious as a surgeon

 with a bone to pick. One busted nose
    and I keep thinking it'll shift again, fall
off: some stupid uncle's magic trick
      gone wrong: I got your nose, I got your nose!  

He got me hooked on the illusion I was whole.  


Such an Ugly Little Duck

This morning's pink ass. Last night's sadist.
     Suppose he came to know me as he wrote
in Sharpie on my belly: whore, or heroine,
     or both. I'm no good at sleeping. High-strung
in a hurricane of public access broadcasts
     while the city's men parade their bulges
on the F train waiting to be licked
     back into living. This is how a book begins:
protagonist unburdened by her husband
     blunders through the belly of a whale.
One day she'll emerge dismantled, all decked
     out in Swarovski Crystal halos. Imperfect,
picturesque as childhood hallucinations.