"I was born here and I'll die here/against my will" --Bob Dylan
Borne by a yellow-black bitch and dark as a plum,
our cat tried to asphyxiate me,
but angels slipped me breaths
disguised as fists.
I became the cellar fighter of the infant ward,
with a smile that peeled paint
and the ability to read minds.
I planted nightmares
from the little perfect fingers of every thought.
Now, here I am on the street,
baking bricks on my tongue
and cursing up cathedrals where burger places sank.
Come to bed with me, woman,
here in the alley on my mattress barge.
I'm a woman too, under the bruises and fractures.
In the middle of the night,
my instincts will kick in and I'll thrash,
whipping and snapping like a downed wire--
I can't control it.
I'll sorry you a dove from my prison cell.
All I want
is to be arrested with my dogs under the Mann Act
while trying to die in the pansy garden
under the birch branches
in Michigan in the spring.
Custody can be mistaken for love. Can't it?
I'll straighten my fingers for the first time in my life,
crawl out from a crease in my target-face,
and pretend I'm some beauty
on the Mackinac Bridge
stepping over into the clean of the breeze.