(for the poet Harry Owen)
The egoist, the narcissus, well, she’s in bloom.
She’s Witness. She’s young and beautiful, just
like my typewriter. When she talks, the men
draw near to her. They want her bad. Her coral
lips. Her mother bird is drowsy. I’m in need of
an explanation. Why just love one daughter and
not the other? The Witness has icicles for eyes.
She really has it in for me this time. Check the
worry in my eye. Check my pulse. Is my heart
still beating? I am in need of a blood transfusion.
Her moonlit tongue lectures me. Her hair is
made out of lust, November. You don’t really
care about my poems. Your mind is made out-
out of summer leaves. I make threadbare notes
on her skin. She’s leafy. Her arms are tragic
branches. She would turn it around on me. Tell
me I’m a tragic one. Tell me that she lives well.
Show-off! You shove daylight out of sight. Flames
lick desire, lick flock, dark-bitter chocolate. She’s
capable of listening to the stars’ balancing act.
The image of camouflage resides there, too, in that
act that she clings like an actor to. The campaign
that she’s been strutting, I’ve had my share. Enough,
you little show-off! You heathen, or if it is by your choice,
atheist, then, if it pleases you. Are you happy? It
must make you happy to make me sad. I smile and
pray and recover and relapse. Off with me to the
lunatic asylum. The day’s scarlet multiplies in this
tranquil cocoon. I tell myself, here, I can be me. Here,
I’m as safe as brick houses. I don’t hope that this
reaches you. It’s too late. Never mind. You’re late,
my girl, my sonnet, my apparition, my Witnessing
prophet. Here is the wedding of leaf and darkness.
You’re the footballer’s sweetheart. I’m hungry for
her crooked little heart. To be honest, for me, it is like
wearing my heart on my sleeve. It’s like water off a
duck’s back. I sup alone. I want to know what the
meaning of having a supernatural life means. To the Witness,
well, she doesn’t acknowledge God in her life.
The world down low is a green triumph. I want
to say to her face, “Hello, love, long time no
see, my sweet Cleopatra. Do you know who I am?”
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