Sunday, July 10, 2011

That's when I tell you, Annie,
that you dream of submarines –
when I feel your small and sudden warmth
curled in the crook of my sleep-heavy arm.
The monstrous bacilli
and eyeless mouthless sharks
are your fingertips
extended into darkness, brushing
fairy-lighted ctenophores
and gape-jawed eels
and snake-legged octopodes.
Your nightmares are adventurers
I tell you, and I watch your breathing
deep and even as the waves.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Across the room, a speechifying man
Digresses, bibulous and red and fat
And blooming loud. I pinch my glass; I can
Feel nothing but my trembling knee, since that

Is where your hand is resting. You transmit
Intolerable heat. The wine is warm
And I am growing volatile; I sit
As one expecting fire, or a swarm

A plague of fevered locusts to consume
The whole damned company, and leave us two
alone. And I am furious – the room
is full of nonsense noise – I would subdue

Myself with wine, but I am drunk; the stain
Comes tearing through the tablecloth like flame.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I have a human lover, and she is
unlike you cool and gorgeous gods in this:
her body is inflammable.
She burns like Semele for me. The thrill
of catching like a candle-wick enthralls
my lover, so her twisting body leaps
and trembles like a dying moth, then falls
into my hands again. My lover sleeps.
I think, How wonderful that she will die!
I hope she will allow me to observe
her when she first forgets a name, or why
she ever left the house, the trembling curve
her knobbed old hands will draw in empty air --
and she will fade before she can despair.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Second Love Sonnet (2)
How odd that I cannot resent this weight.
Your head is pressing on my throat; I’ll wait
until you are entirely asleep
before I move: this forehead is the same
you touched to trace for me the way your deep
and laughing wrinkles will appear. That game
was serious: you traced my fated seams
as well, and said you hoped I would not mind,
that all my worried multiplying streams
would spill across my face, and you would find
them wonderful. This is untenable:
I cannot sigh or swallow, so I take
your head in trembling soft treasonable
hands: you murmur, but you do not wake.
Judith (1) revised
I think of you, o Judith, as I lie awake.
I will not be a cold Lucretia, or a saint,
her tongue cut out: I will not wrench my ecstasy
from silence or self-sacrifice. Why should I be
like anyone but gray-eyed Judith, who perfumed
herself with spice and sandalwood, who then bitumed
the sheets with monster's blood? You carried home his head
as though it were a cabbage or a loaf of bread
bought in the marketplace. I only hope the sweat
that ran into your stinging eyes did not prevent
you glutting on your fury when those hands,
like drunken crabs that scrambled at your skirt, released.
So woman's vengeance must be tenderer than man's --
my awful sister, we're exacting to appease.
First love sonnet #2

My worm, my private monster who resides
between my eyelids and my itching eyes,

you are still here. My bloated spider, crouched
above my brain, your needle-slender legs
tap sonnets on my skull; a silk-spun pouch
wraps warm around a hundred thousand eggs.

My parasite, your viney body binds
my tortured tongue, caressing fingers wind
along my throat; your double hooking teeth
are nestled in my voice, and underneath

my crawling skin, between my hips, I feel
you still, at times more clamorously real
than any lover whose keen lips transform
to yours, whose trembling hands take on your form.
Judith (2)
The flesh resists my penetration but
there's one soft place beneath the heavy chin.
This then will be my entrance point: I surge.
We two are pressed so close your desperate hands
are scrambling on my skirt like drunken crabs
your breath still slow and stuporous and sweet
and rank with wine is snarling the sheets
around our legs. And when an eager louse
goes skittering across the hand that seized
you by your greasy goatwool hair I heave.
But swordweight sweat-slicked palms wet tent-trapped heat
I am gray owl wings in hunting flight.
Your head rolls heavy, dull-ripe-thumps like fruit
nudge-bumps my foot before I scoop you up.