In my mind I have travelled
halfway around the world and back
on a boat made from matchstick limbs and what happened in the past
telling stories to awe shamans and kings and refugees, today I hold my sweater close to my chest to fend off the cold, treading lightly ahead of a girl whose feet I hear but cannot see, a girl who may or may not be following me.
I have made love to a playboy centerfold, in the leaves and in the eaves of an attic and the abandoned speakeasy down the street; she swore to me she would never grow old, but now she walks the strip with candle wax skin. In my dreams it won’t be long before the healing begins.
I have tunneled out of Bergen Belsen today, and jesus christ I am a superstar today. And tonight I will crack an egg on your head and let the yolk drip down, let the yolk drip down, let the yolk drip down.
Slash your back with ragged nails and let the blood drip down.
Let the blood drip down.
In my mind I have joined the rock and roll circus and fucked the bearded lady and choked on fire, in the jail cell I pleaded guilty and was called a liar, in your mausoleum I peeled a tangerine until I realized it was my scalp. And I did not stop. No, I did not stop.
In the fortress where they held me in captivity, I counted the minutes on my fingers and the days on my bruises and tried to start the revolution. Chaos reigned each night I paced the halls, until they fed me oatmeal and dolls, and when I woke from sleep like mud I told the empty room:
The world is quiet here. The world is quiet here.
In a minute I will write my last will and testament, in an hour I will carve my mantra onto the stone walls of a cave and leave poignant hieroglyphics to depict my quiet rage,
I will spread the word of my synergistic relationship with Alpha and Omega; in vibrant shades of naked blue blood and three purple grapes, I will write my novella. And they will all know.
And they will all finally know.
In the backyard burglaries and courtrooms of my higher power I will finally make my case. In the cabin in the woods I will finally come face to face with the man who escaped
from Guantanamo Bay, somewhat buried alive, told by three beggars that someone must die. In an hour’s time I will pantomime suffocation and starvation, I will run to the grocery store and call it a vacation. I will wonder why he chose to survive; disfigured faces cannot hide.
In a moment I will grab a scalpel to fix my mistake and in a month I will collect my welfare check and move to another state,
Where I will sit in your darkroom and see life through the devil’s blood soaked vision, and calmly make the first incision, before you can accuse me of treason. I write my own fate. I write my own fate.
When your tasteless saliva will fuel the stolen ride, I drive seventy miles over the speed limit because I have to hide, because I make my own rules, I will drive to the hospital and smile at the empty shells, as I release the gas I release them from hell, praise the lord and get back on the road and drive to your sweatshop and plead: I am not what I seem. I am not what I seem.
I will drive to where they keep the stem-cell deprived kids, demand to be let in, demand to see where the prisoners live, scream: this is not normal. But none of this is normal.
I will find the fallacy in government speeches, dirty needles in the sand at the loveliest beaches, skeletons in the closet of your perfect wife, and all I wanted was to celebrate the Ides of March, but I didn’t have a toga and I didn’t have a knife, so I knocked on your door and said goodnight.
Call me crazy but I still wear your crucifix under my skin in between mottled breasts inches away from the cavern in my chest where the left ventricle marches to its own beat and it brought me to my knees, but you do what you please. You do what you please.
In my mind I seek and destroy the latter day saints, the ones who told me I could not wait, polygamy and virginity a child’s game, in the kitchen with a vision that I would be saved, I would be praised, I could not speak. And that was not relief.
That did not bring me relief.
But the circus master will finally crack, after spending too many years with Siberian tigers breathing down his back, his hoax of manic depression no one seems to respect, and one too many dances with Lucy- what could you expect? He will scream surrender and tear off his clothes, call the magician’s assistant onto the stage, as his final act he will open up the cage, but do not be afraid. You must not be afraid.
In a moment I will run out of gas, knowing this feeling could never last, still groping for atonement in a senseless fast. I feel everything. There must be another way. But there is no other way.
And I see your face in the wrong end of a shotgun, in the arbitrary shooting gallery of hustlers and mothers and pirates and preachers, Hare Krishna and kindergarten teachers. I see your face in the reflecting pool, before I jump from a white phallic symbol, I see your face in the watchful eye of a camera lens, in the rearview mirror of the doctor’s Mercedes Benz, I see your face in the static between our glass-half-full president and my television screen, in the hopeless carnage of the American Dream, in the belly of the beast but no, this is not your feast. This is not your feast.
I am everything that’s left
After the seventh car wreck.
I am everything that’s left after your black eyed kisses and a genie’s three wishes and I am what they had in mind when they invented the exit bag, I am what they had in mind when they gave up on intelligent design, and I am doing just fine.
I am doing just fine.
I am the out of state plates you left behind for the police to find, as your getaway car sped down the street. I am the speechless orifice of every spectator at the zoo, close the gate before its too late but the elephants have already escaped, devouring everything they could not taste, in their frantic race to meet the fate that was pulsing through your sadistic veins.
But love does remain.
Love will always remain.
I am the powdered binges of disco and fishnets, I am the Madonna of all that is left, I am the dagger to the Achilles heel of pro-life rallies and suburban prosperity, I am the lover that lied, the fleeting amphetamine high, the place where you peak peak peak peak
And I will proudly wash your feet.
And I am the daughter you hope to never meet.
I see your face in the Aryan alphabet, anorexic horse and carriage rolling down the path less travelled to deliver the verdict on the last deviant race.
I match the stride of my invisible friend; I do not care if my stitches ever mend, because the word of the prophet was delivered in The End.
In my mind I make believe I was a victimless crime. I was Mrs. Diver who dove headfirst into the Red Sea, the woman everyone wanted to be, I who made a deal with the devil, sealed my fate to die wrapped in heroin bedspreads in the room where my count used to drink me to sleep.
I am the unwilling donor of the godforsaken irony of the death white ivory of your precious piano keys.
I am the ignorant reject who fell victim to identity theft publicized by my unjust death on a bench in Central Park West.
And all I wanted was to accompany you to a masquerade ball. That was all. That was all.
But I am the rules and regulations of a border patrol station, the voice behind Susan’s brutal imagination, I am the menu in a vegan cafe, I am every customer’s dismay when they open me up to find raw meat is all I contain.
I am the stoplight that keeps you waiting forever in the land of mongrel races who slowly surround your pleasant painting with their haggard arms raising:
Can you spare a little change?
Could you please spare some change?
And in my mind I lost my mind and shaved my head and abandoned my clothes for tangerine robes and proudly pledged allegiance to the United States of the Weather Underground and the Hemlock Society and Your Black Muslim Bakery.
In the shadow of a second I may have learned a lesson in the tremors and quakes of a tambourine shake, in Haitian lips that quiver, in their final moments of gasping and choking in vain, resigning to die in a shallow grave, as the reporters and supporters watch from a safe distance away, shaking their heads as they say: my, isn’t that a shame. But if I call myself a mystic will if all be ok? In my mind I still visit gypsies, and enjoy a gin and tonic, and sympathize with Lorena Bobbitt, and ransack their conclave. Please forgive me but they robbed me and tambourines do not make it a game.
I am all that’s left after the last communion host and an unholy ghost and the age I fear most.
In my dreams I saw three samurai practice seppuku and thought I might do it too, I see your face in the garden variety court case open and shut, in the thousands of forgotten cigarette butts and in the curious eyes of the passerby’s who I observe from the passenger side of a hitchhiked ride and in the message carved by a boy who began to care: Happiness is only real when shared, happiness is only real when shared.
And in the double mirror I was stalked by Satan, and my hands could not stop shaking, when I saw my newborn baby, I delivered so he could save me, and if the cloakroom closes at noon let these waves efface me soon, let me fly to the dark side of the moon, another day I’ll want to say how it all went down, but that is all for now, that is all for now.