ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF A LOVER’S DEATH
When Death sends flowers, I slashoff the heads with rusty scissors. Sometimes living things arrive
cold at the door. This time, peonies. Redas a fresh organ. I cut the stems in everydirection, shred petals to pulp. Isn’t that always
what we’re doing here? Shearing the pretty thingfrom its root? Slicing down the recognizableuntil we see its parts eviscerated?
I stuff them back in the oblong boxthey came in with a note—fuck yourself. I don’t send it. Instead I light them on fire
and watch smoke pour from the mouthof the thing, that mashed up casket of softred matter, that fire eating through the floor.
Dear C, I droppedyour sentence in hot water.I talked to the boil. I said Hereis my thumb for you to burn.Here is the soft heartof my hand and my arm andthe nape of my wreck.I said vapor, just take me.I’m done burningwith these pages. Being invisibledoesn’t mean a personwon’t blister, doesn’t meanthe blisters won’t fillwith pockets of wateror when lanced the rawest fleshwon’t emerge. First the wordthen the murky leakbegins—what another mindmay scrape againstbut never skin.
My candle burns at both ends;It will not last the night;But ah, my foes, and oh, my friendsIt gives a lovely light!
When you came, you were like red wine and honey,And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.Now you are like morning bread,Smooth and pleasant.I hardly taste you at all, for I know your savor;But I am completely nourished.
I knowNot these my handsAnd yet I think there wasA woman like me once had handsLike these.