Sunday, August 28, 2016

Woman In A Coffee Bar

I don't look like much, but when I open my mouth, 
they send the bomb squad and a priest.

Standing there at the counter, that dress makes me both jealous and repentant
of the things I want to declare at the border of your beauty.
Does the world seem blurry,
silent-movie sped,
to you, too?
Or are you as contained as a coconut,
as cool,
as necessary and as removed

from earthbound spirits?
You'd like me, if only you'd release your carnality into my custody.
I'm nervous, but that's all the time.
I'm the girl with a locust under each eyelid;
all I have to do is look,
and everything reduces to simple appetite.

Don't condemn me, I'll pay whatever back tax you demand.
Just come over here. Soon. Admire me, too.
Tell me I'm the ladybug you've been looking for
despite the fire department,
child protective services,
and, especially, the aftermath predicted for my bedding
by the tarot card I keep in my bag to notify
handsome firefighters and lady doctors of my special conditions.

Someone sent me their heart by telegram once.
It was too slow, and they had
to use dynamite and a blowtorch to get into the crypt I was renting at the time.
I came back to life anyway, though,
just now,
when I saw you standing at the counter.

I said to myself, there's the drug I've been kept off of--
the stuff cats and deep water divers know about,
made from equal parts next year's pandemic,
mother's milk and
the smell of pussy on the pillow, one's fingers (nails trimmed short) and
a book of favorite Catholic hymns
that we'll use to prop the door

so the breeze can come in, as you should as soon as you possibly can.
_______ 

From the following word list. I did not use all of them.

carrot
soon
seducer
deepwater
condemn
blowtorch
locust
urban
coconut
fluctuation
flesh
blurry
aftermath
ladybug
decadence
crypt
 

10 comments:

Cloudia said...

The definitive Shay quote!!!!

"I don't look like much, but when I open my mouth,
they send the bomb squad and a priest."

btw, I find your looks quite enough for any weather!

hedgewitch said...

as contained as a coconut,
as cool,
as necessary and as removed

so many good lines, but that one clicked for me--adroit, intelligent and almost slick at times, this piece really works its way under your skin with its all too genuine, jittery images and locusts under the lid--great transformations from the word list, and an unsettling yet somehow tender residue left behind in the reader's mind.

Sioux said...

Holy moly.

I thought the "carnality and custody" line was incredible, and then I read the rest, and had to call 911.

That poem is on fire! (I could sing it to you, but I wouldn't sound at all like Alicia Keys, so I will refrain.)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

As Joy notes, too many good lines to quote but I especially loved "things I want to declare at the border of your beauty."

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

love that your bounds are 'none'

wonderful

brudberg said...

Love what you did with those words... so much to like, but somehow the prayerbook you jam into the door is especially good... to me it's air we need not crypts.

Mama Zen said...

and, especially, the aftermath predicted for my bedding
by the tarot card I keep in my bag to notify
handsome firefighters and lady doctors of my special conditions.

Those are my favorite lines. Hell, yeah.

De said...

This packs that Shay punch, for sure. LOVE.

Jasmin said...

the smell of pussy on the pillow, one's fingers (nails trimmed short) and...... especially love this line. ;))

Buddah Moskowitz said...

If I were to say this, I'd get slapped:

"You'd like me, if only you'd release your carnality into my custody."

Only you can pull that off - la la mosk