Monday, January 26, 2009

Poetry in Progress

(Not yet titled)

I mean it to be beautiful. Thin lines,
symmetrical, cascading down
my left forearm. A path of intention.
Mirror my right arm, all tattoo. I need it
to mean something like that-
a calculated inside out
of the this I know. I believe
I am controlled- poem,
sculpture. I lack the tools- a something exact.

He stopped me in need of a light
and like so many others,
took hold of my forearm. Six hours
I tell him, yea, the cyclone,
paid half price, no, that’s the only one
on my arms. But he’s already
got my left wrist. He’s running his hand
along my scabbed flesh. You cut yourself
he says, voice soft and sweet.
I am looking at his ink, my lashes
inching up forearm to his bent place, trying
to avoid his eyes. Beautiful boy,
your track mark is still bleeding out.

I haven’t opened my fridge for weeks.
It is something dead. Capers like
kidney stones, and Mom,
the smell reminds me of you-
head on the toilet bowl
each morning. Now your teeth are falling out
and my cauliflower has turned brown and drips
inside its bag. There are safe things,
air tight. Peanut butter, mustard,
apple sauce. Everything else will have to go.
I’m sorry about the Tupperware.

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