The sun feels good in this world, warm, wide-windowed breeze and your brown clone sunglasses with golden wire frames. I think I’m falling.
With you, my skin is tanned to sand, porch-picnic-ready, your mom asking “So is he treating you good?” When I say yes, she gets that twinkle so I know what she means. I nod, shy; she smiles, proud of her son.
I sit in your world and we all eat chicken and talk about school and TV and how you know when you’re in love. (They had a lot of wine.) Here, your parents are mine; they don’t have to say I’m welcome.
Now I remember: Mom hides fear in her smile while dad tries hard to forget me, sewn up tight as he feasts on fury. I am a billion sand-pieces waiting for glass.
“Come on,” you say. “The road’s too cool for that.” So I wrench out of then, kiss this forget that for now.
Go do it, then, whatever it is that you do — sex someone, buy that ring — film it, even, make a record of your elementary courage and then social your accomplishment to your kind. After all, you have the keys — (Secret gesture. Secret gesture. Secret gesture!) — and I should want to be just like you.
But, no. If you’re going to do it, hijo, choose a field where you will get caught and shot and then I’ll know you’re real. Let your body stand erect as rifles are raised by priests and soldiers; stand before their righteous hate, alone, knowing you die for your desire. Then I’ll follow.
In your childlike voice: “It was just a little fun!” “Why do you have to be so serious?”
Mi pequeñito, you have a thousand ways to explain your survival — as his blood sings from Spain, intones a truth known only to me:
Divinity is a dead body, sinking and stinking, unliked and unfriended, shot by justice, abhorred by Church, buried nowhere but my heart.
They told me what an orgasm was.
They showed me how it worked.
Lots of effort went into its making,
and you needed something close-by,
a rag or sock (for the cleanup).
But it felt good, so good,
and so I said yes, and yes, and YES!
and began the road to Bliss.
They told me what sex was for,
what its end and purpose.
They showed me lots of playful children.
They seemed to run everywhere,
and you had to keep an eye on them
(loud little shits).
But since I was once a child,
and had some happy memories,
I said okay, that sounds about right. Okay.
They told me what my life was for.
They talked in terms of sacrifice. Honor.
“All gave some, but some gave all.”
And tears slipped out of their eyes.
So, looking at the soldier’s head-stone,
it seemed right to forget myself,
settle the debt I’d somehow incurred.
But then I rode an hour-long orgasm,
waited amazed for my bliss to subside,
didn’t need a rag,
produced no children,
and thought something they didn’t teach me:
They go to your door, two by two,
just like it says in the Bible --
well-dressed, sometimes in
pressed white shirts,
sometimes, smart skirts and blouses
so that only message is heard,
not the person.
They want you to know,
as they stand at your door,
that they have found the way,
that they're there to help --
to share peace, maybe happiness,
help in hard times,
And they are sincere!
Tears of joy filter plain eyes,
uplifted toward Calvary Hill
and gentle pleading:
"Please, Sister, walk with Jesus.
Let us help you,
for our yoke is easy,
and our burden, shared."
So begins the temptation.
And you, and your lonely house,
and your charred heart
see in these women,
or those Elders,
an end to the deafening solitude,
the tyranny of your crazy voice.
down deep, buried in muscles you've forgotten
but haven't forgotten you,
down in your body's dark labyrinth,
a memory saves you.
Something your grandpa said
and your grandma nodded to:
"You can only let others carry you so far.
Then, you've got to walk."
And you see your cross behind you,
the empty house,
the bills your husband left you,
the ashes of life,
and you smile
because they are your ashes,
he was your husband,
no one else's,
And you say
as your world reaches for you:
"Thank you for showing me
what I carry --."
And though they don't see it
(the plank in the eye and all that),
they've actually spoken Jesus (and all that),
brought the dead back to life,
and showed a sinner the way.
They just don't get to
You can take yours home —
and yours, too.
but I don't like
what I see at all.
You bend the wrong way;
skews everything —
and by such a band of old,
an army of ugly
well-past skill —
I can't stand it!
Send in, please,
those convex faces;
laugh at my smallness
as you mock my gaze.
I demand broad frames
that diminish and belittle,
that show with a smirk
and leave me wanting