“Eve”–An Excerpt from ‘Death and Lost Angeles’

I performed this at the Poetry Brothel (NYC) last night, and it was well-received. Hope people enjoy it.

IAA


Eve [One]

You move like smoke.

I’ve never watched something take form and use it so easily or so well.

The movements you make are deliberate and yet fully boundless—

that first night, you appeared topless

as a painting subject

the object of desire, feather-haired, glaring

defiant into the eyes of the painter,

you chased fires up the beaches, rocks into the shore,

threw popcorn in theaters, and reached for my voice within my throat.

You beg to escape the ideals I’m trying to describe you with—

those elegies, this smoke, the pedestals and statues I’m building in verses—

are measurable by human hands

but even if I had you in my arms,

there wouldn’t be an inch of you left to discover

so remind me again and again that there is no place like home,

no place like home, no place like home—click your heels.

Take me from my bedroom window to the rocks of Malibu

where we’ll never grow old—

make me sprint in the sand with cameras orbiting around you,

dragging you off into the sunset.

Why did I still say yes every time your slim shoulders asked it?

I would call that bewitched but that implies you actually understand the spells you’re casting I think that your existence itself was put here

to entrance anyone with the eyes to watch

you would have spit the apple back in god’s face

and worn a snakeskin necklace

you would have dragged us back out the garden’s gate

and kissed the resting Lilith awake you wander

in and out of myths we’ll never know are true.

But I know that we’ve seen you before,

in the rain clouds, with cut hair

pounding drums and moving the earth itself or simply

leading it with your hand in the evenings,

but you are blighted inside, that coldness,

the deep hardwiring from saltine crackers to stay

alive and under a hundred twenty pounds and she did,

she is Schrödinger’s woman—

she lives on in the forehead she kissed three years ago

and dies in her rarely touched lips, the fingertips that massaged her,

and the sides of the live roads of her back

they are so fraught with flowers

and petals as they run

fearfully up the aisles and through the maze of hedges

like the lilies upon the breath of those lilacs I

shoved into your eardrums—metaphors

unfit to describe you are still growing like weeds from my lips

and the grass lifts

beneath your feet as you move into the steam.

We sit in opposite corners of your shower, balancing

the wood planks between our feet, matted hair dripping water into the glances passing between us

hands and towels around our waists,

it is silent

except for the pounding in my chest,

and you have no idea.


 

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