Sunday, January 25, 2015



When my death and I tease each other,
I can hear worms giggle (squirms wiggle?)
bones rattle like tambourines (dried tangerines?),
and doom booming through tombs like squawking cops
unholstering their hardware hardons;
although she can also whistle, whisper,
sing Wagner, and fake a climactic moan
sweeter, my Christ, than Brahm's Fourth Symphony.

This is no capital D act (though
a capital act indeed) reeking of
Dachaus and Dresdens, but her lower-case show
(lower caste? lower class?) more attuned to
doughnuts and dumplings (ducks and Ding-dongs?),
one she performs as a "lie-down" comic,
saving "stand -up" roles for skiers, guards, boxers,
and all vertical vertigo victims on the last spin
of their fortune's wheel before the fall.

Like Zeus who could screw Leda as a swan
and Danae as a gold rush of sperm-shaped
doubloons (shekels, pence, or subway tokens?),
my sometimes trick-tease, sometimes skull-masked
stalker (sulky skulker?) has all my life
played Proteus, watching with an eagle's eye
and vulture appetite, once from the nest
of a robin chick crying, dying,
in a late spring freeze, rosary-bead eyes
without a prayer; once from the skull of a dog
truck-shattered for jaywalking out of my heart;
once from a still-staring catfish head
after its spine tattooed my wrist with fire,
escaping fire itself as it splashed away...

So often have I seen her seeing me.
I wink at her now.
I know which one of my cats she's hiding in:
the black long-hair who seems to stand guard
where my orange-tipped rig hides among aloe leaves.

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