Things which do feed upon the mouth devour, not nourish.
If you want to be
so cute hipster-hair Nueva York
that you make everybody else cream themselves right at the bar
in Sophie's, sipping martinis from plastic cups,
the always trick is:
just take a step away from them.
Then the perfect kiss, and they think of you
when standing in the middle of the Rothko room
the right very next day.
I always think of you in the uncomfortable places.
Even thousands of miles away, I still think again,
think of the bank lobby Whitney where some very small frames
hung. As-yet-unknown painters had painted tiny
unknown paintings along tiny canvasses.
(You must squint
to ride along in the back seat of the 1949 Roadmaster.)
The day before, by the by, I was
in the Rothko room thinking of you before
I ever knew who you were; small scenes
of a long child hood. Oh, we all know
how we imagine people before we know them. We don't know
how to: we all know how we make them,
even before they
are real to us. Once they are manifest real
they become such a pain to deal with.
Dearest, my tongue
grazed the edges of your lips, tucked under the delicate epidermis
and bud like of April. And I forgot
about xanaxes and metal beds and plastic
bedpans filled with tocsins emptied from
in that touch, tongues wound
and contracted as my intestines became your intestines.
Soft and round and squishy warm, like the Bar-B-Que sausages
that the Pope ate in San Remo.
Tongues writhe and collide, lips turn
like the back of a hand does a page:
so-keep-on-it-now, and just talk sin to me, hmmmm...?
(published in Sonora Review, Vol.24/25, April 1993)