I was white dough--
Eating off vacant plates,
Writing little notes on edgeless paper,
Wearing a bridal dress in the indefinite glare of afternoons at home,
Marrying the empty air.
Time ran down my back.
I was a dim bird in a wire cage
Hung from a silly, flat, make-believe moon.
You think you are as common as kudzu,
As ashes in a fireplace,
As spirits in transit, thick in the startled air of foggy dawn.
From the moment I saw candle flame reflected in a drop of water running down your bare arm to your wrist,
I have been dying of a fever.
In a sharp delicious burn, I talk the most vulgar rot--
Whores laugh and encircle me, their Queen.
Doctors renounce their calling, becoming peddlers;
Priests go blessedly silent at last.
They all know
To get out of the way of this thing,
Bloom within it
Like a saint in the licking flames.
Other desires were foxfire.
My fingers go up like dry trees whenever I think of touching you,
And I think of nothing else.
My hair is dark smoke,
I come out of my skin, I spread.
I have to kiss you.
I am your bride in a black dress,
I never stay home,
My appetite is obscene,
I write everything in my own warm blood--
Don't leave me this way.
Kiss me now,
Kiss me hard;
I can beg or demand,
But kiss me--
Then you will see how my gratitude burns
In the sanctified sin of the sweet-grace moment
Just before the satisfied sigh of dawn.
picture: Amy Lee