Monday, December 31, 2018

Clothespin Cufflinks

Stillbirth boiling in his throat, clog of bubbles plugging
the desiccated tunnel. Words that attempted
to claw their way out, lying in a soggy heap.
Wet, vulgar, hysterical, shriveled like sodden fungus.
Scrape the raw corridors, run fingertips along the traces
of words etched along the walls. A name scratched into the glass
and slathered in grease. A heavy pair of shears
zipping through the upholstery fabric
Thick stain-resistant floral prints. Lilac, buttercup, lily of the valley.
The umbrella that popped open when you swallowed it
The flutter of shredded pork plastered to your eyelid with barbecue sauce
The blotch of grease is a drop in the bucket and you just keep on repeating it
Gleefully, with no remorse, your head blown off before you realize the danger
Hollow teeth, baling wire stitches, crossed shovels, crocheted death shrouds,
I'm mining the breadlines, reminded of deadlines, never mind the land mines
Finding what's mine, rewinding the land slide, demanding slime,
pin hole camera inside your chest, periscope sticking out the top of your head,
manhole monocle, roast beef coin purse, skinned sand worm writhing in agony,
riding mahogany, giggling maniacally. Long underwear stuffed with
shoplifted candy bars, melting against your skin, pulling your legs off
one by one, apologizing for the butterscotch, Great Dane's body
hurled from the back of a pickup truck, lies flat and heavy
in the middle of the interstate, flies rise, cranes flop
over, sheets of lead folded and hung from the line,
rusty teeth in a rusty mouth, wheels spinning beneath your tongue.
Brown gusts. Wet grit in your palm. Runny streaks. Slag and bones.
Knife fight in the park. Leaves covering statues, withered hand,
Here we are, heavily resistant yet also eager to blindly follow
I want it to be long and layered and constantly shifting
Yet each piece able to be taken and examined on its own
Isolation and the certainty that what one is doing is important,
is worth doing. It's as important to doubt your own doubt
as it is to doubt your own certainty. Weather permitting,
restoration of those light gray pieces will resume tomorrow.
Small bug spitting pixels. Shifting spray of a stuttering sprinkler
passing back and forth over the lawn. Bury the evidence, blow
your cover, you're so pretty when you smile. Guts all over the lawn.
Folding the city in half and half again. Cut on the dotted line.
The crack in the fountain, the stone that saved the city,
the bone that remained on the plate when you'd finished your steak,
the crutch you threw in their face, the cane you tripped them with.
All the dangling tags from your jacket, suitcases, unspooled ribbon
and tape, wrapping presents on the carpet, grates of various sizes
and metals, damp cardboard, Stalin's granddaughter in mini shorts
and little t-shirt clutching a toy machine gun.
Cloak fluttering on a clothesline strung from a limb above Potter's Field,
never did get the hang of that blood and silver lining,
wind a low sexual moan, should have cut those pants off
before they shrunk so tight, should have disposed of the bright gleam
of skylights and rooftops and frogs hatching from their mother's backs.
Knotted our guts and hung them from a hook in the kitchen.
Blew kisses through the wavy glass. Upended bowls
of instant oatmeal across our bare chests.
Paced the perimeters of the shells of old buildings.
Attended the private screenings doused in grease and glue,
pureeing beets and radishes, shooing away the morons in stocking caps,
trying to haul chain links the size of your head,
rubber mask turned inside out, baling wire brassieres,
test tube rhinos, Cockring Cola, exhausted we flattened ourselves out
and rolled ourselves up and smoked ourselves to ash.

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