She Fixed Me
with morphine sweeter than the desert. Rainfall
[and the snake] silently assumed I would sleep
through morning, but it didn’t work out that way.
It was ridiculously hot inside.
Perhaps the partial psychological stress of sleeping in
unbreathing skin revolted the night. . .
I dreamed of concentration camps --
human ovens with matchstick hunger –
transforming into something . . .
Too thin to be human, their eyes bulged
and accused: Everything burns; the flame
is but a crucible. (It was the same phrase
I’d heard in my nightmare about the skeleton
going up in shrouded flame.)
[Hand]Standing To Be (Delivered?)
for Ben Johnson
The urge to master stone broke the chaos
of my mind’s statu[r]e. I searched for any crack
that might be construed as a hold,
but the surface was too smooth (or I was),
and we slipped against each other
‘s grip at every angle.
I turned quickly to scatter
the remnants of my triumphant idea to the wind,
but the tale was tricky and hinged itself
on a blind[ing] blue maw-mouthed monster:
an anchor. I accepted
this diminuated challenge as a renewed house
Strike one: Crash!
Swing two – an “ish” miss.
I regrouped for the third ballast. I would not fall out!
A focus force locked. My muscles’ memory st[r]uck . . .
A flash moment’s capture of matriculated success
heralded my feet a moment longer to the wind.
A change of plans that settled the upset,
as upside-down, the stone’s persistent ring continued
its haunting back in my view.
Running Water through Sound Waves
My mind begins to separate like sand.
The water becomes hands, shapes my imagination
into textbook molds. My thoughts grow towers,
dig moats, raise gates against the outside.
Even wind cannot trespass my new fortitude.
For 11 hours I am queen of this depravation chamber.
Once moon replaces sun, magic loses tangibility,
and an eruption of thunderous crushing comes
to topple metaphorical front
door. I turn to statue, immobilized against this
onslaught. I can only watch as my comforting dream
dissolves, devoured by midnight’s tide.
I Am Eve
First woman in your world,
part of your bones. Removed,
I blossomed, a flower in the jungle
of your mind. You wanted me
to be second, subservient. I had
other plans, skipped dinner, brought you
dessert. Instinctively, I knew apple
was your favorite, but
the bite came when you recognized
its understated hints of venom. Too late.