Saturday, March 21, 2009

Siesta - James

You used to sit feline
the undulation of muscle
linking inexorably
into the darkness.
You would wait
by watering holes,
in malignant homes
and lace yourself between strangers
You tend to land on lips
that are no more reluctant
than runways.
It's just that you didn't come here
expecting the welcome of a stranger.

For you,
dimly lit corridors
are ground zero,
laid waiting in the shade
of mazes
for straight girls
to apply themselves--
to jigsaw the sexuality,
and after the fifth drink
they chased every sentence
with confession.

You've felt the lips
and promises
of too many retreats
wrapping themselves in you
like tapestries of love letters
written on white flags.
These surrenders
were just as much yours
as every other girl's.
You never applied
for this missionary work.

You once found yourself
in war-zoned ballrooms
compositionally based
in closets;
morse coding
the numeric equivalent
of sin
on doorknobs
with the subtle drop
of fingerfall--
but then subtle
was short for stealthy
and stealthy,
short for lying.
And I'd be lying
by omission
to not acknowledge
that you could sit instead 
like tack hammer.
'You don't need to be vague,
charming, sneaky, or untrue.'
she'd say, while
the curvature of your palms
the unclasped bra strap,
and then ask what you mean
when you say your prayers
into her throat.

And I'd be lying too,
to say that the mechanics
of curtains and closet doors
don't smother
or box you in at times.

Do the orchestrations of
war crimes
sometimes sound like 
Do the parallel lines
you've plowed into scalp
never grow to anything
but frustration
and excuse?
Does your marrow sometimes
feel like spolied honey
when you consider the boys
you've shared
through the transient property of
finger the holes in our bones?

Because it puts holes
through me
to watch woman after woman
fall into you
after having
boy after boy
fall out of them
because holding you
is as close to self-love
that will ever seem feasible.

There is a rumble 
in your eardrums--
it is rocket fuel.
There is something radiating
in your stomach:
it is Stalingrad,
and Chernobyl is on your heels.
Your heartbeat is a Geiger count,
and flash photography allows
every broken bone
to develop,
reveals the cities you are
carrying with you,
along with the graveyard arrangement
of forget-me-nots
hung on every vertebrae in you.
It is a haunting silhouette.

You are not a predator.

It's just that some
cannot help but be prey.

And it is always you
who loses sleep,
as each of them
that it's your melody
that is fever-dream harmonizing