On to Something

I am the letter and you are the hot wax.
I am the needle and you, the dancing midget.
We stuff our mouths – breadcrumbs and magpies.

I am the girl in the blue gown
Who has lost her eyes to the prick of a needle
She thought was a jewel.

I search the woods for the last slipper.
In glass – now, for good,
That goddamned story is sealed.

In the corner, a roach waves his hands feebly.
Kafka groans in my bed – he has taken
My place in this transformation.

I graffiti my name on a 1920’s Paris street.
I paint my eyes with kohl and find a fire-can
Chorus to raise these words to the night.

This land is dead. The flags wrap the apocalypse
Tight as Christ in a cave.
Babies wait in jars and tubes. Everyone wants

These babies.
Their reed boats sail down rivers of history.
If I tell you a story, will you bite the hook?

If I make my breasts morsels for lions in towers,
Will the search stop? Will the old man
Just be dead, not slumbering, not 100?

I was promised a story that would save,
But look at the dumbstruck girl in blue
Reaching into her dress, thinking it’s twilight.

The bread will break me.
The woman will cook her tears
Into red rides, into serendipity.

I am not a lady but the stable boy, the horse
That wants nothing more than to run,
Dripping ink through the forest, a comma of froth

Flaring from its mouth.
Angels and a broken mirror
Cut us like cloth.

I am the wild rose
Tangled in his hair –
The spells like Normandy, like Braille

You will only know on my skin.
It has been years and the country of lies
Has mapped this deal.
It is by being on to the ruse, you learn.
It is in the weaving hands of the man
Who holds your last star, falling.

Girls, you must know
That your final sleep is the only potion -
That the bitter heart is the one still beating.