Rose Cotton

wmuambermartin05

 

hapless fledgling
unable to move
unable to make a sound,
save the minute gasps and gurgles
(which I’m sure would
make my heart swell)

I am trying to get back to you

innocence
wrapped in rose cotton
I’ve a thousand names
yet none of them deserve you

I am trying to get back to you

there in a dark room
I dream of the weight
of your frame cradled in my arms
I dream selfishly of your
gaze weaving into my eyes
knowing you are mine

I am trying to get back to you

all the while
I am waking up to you
remembering a song made
just for us
my body is tired and stretched
with new scars, new lines
but they are all for you
I am all for you

I am trying to get back to you

even so,
I am not solely fixed on
the smaller you,
but all of you
to watch over you
helplessly in love
growing into happiness
growing into a place
I never knew (I love you)

I am trying to get back to you

and never on my chest had you laid,
instead
floating in red water
suspended in a spiraling
oblivion
I have watched your
grapeblue seedy pieces
over and over
and over
washing away from
my insides

I am terrified that I may never come back to you

I am harvesting smiles of the mothers
with ten pounds
of ten fingers
and ten toes

barren
barren

I am no woman
I am an empty shell

The Weather is Clean

The weather is clean
as well as the linens.
The dishes are washed
and are neatly put away into
their appropriate cabinets.
Bath towels fluffed,
cuffs pressed,
silverware polished,
even the pencils are sharpened.

Silence dances through the tiles,
bouncing off of vases,
old pottery from a classroom.
The children are away
in the mountains
on a camping trip.
And fish are well fed.

The shell of a quondam woman
paces forwards
paces backwards.
Even the mirrors strain
to recognize the near-familiar
lines on her face.
The eyes have long gone.
She is dissolved into an
asomatous oblivion.

In the basin of her stomach
the pills are floating
along with scotch.
As she soliloquizes to the red bricks
of the apartment
she teeters softly.
Speaking out in choppy
French words she learned
over the course of a mental breakdown.
Pacing forwards,
pacing backwards.

The children are in the mountains.
The fish are in the aquarium.
The pencils are in the cup holder.
The spoons are in the drawer.
The bath towels are in the cupboard.
The dishes are in the cabinets.

The letter is on the nightstand.
The bottle is in the trash.
The woman is on the railing.
The woman is in the air.
The woman is on the ground.
The weather is clean
as well as the linens.

Roadkill

it was Friday
that I came wheeling down the
5PM freeway
which was lit by limited sunlight
and everyone was pushing on their brakes
my head was thick
I remember the saturation

suddenly above us there was
a still-warm ungulate beast
lay sprawled in the middle of the
yellow lines
the baskets of eyes
were wide and dark
unrecognizable
poor deer

I wanted to stop among
the traffic and peel it’s
head off the concrete
maybe I could
sit while it slipped
away
but the cars kept
buzzing and
the drained
employees of America
were too eager
to sit down
to gluttonize
to tear off their ties
and fuck their wives

meanwhile I drove all
the way home
wondering if it
had died suddenly
or if it had to wait
until the blood drowned
its brain

Ballerina

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I am the ballerina
in the music box
bending and twirling.
when you need me,
twist the spindle.
I’ll dance.
Pretty pink shoes
revolving counter-clockwise,
the same way every day and every night.
When you’re done, close the lid
and I will tuck myself quietly
beneath my own body,
folded up neatly where I belong.
Tucked away in my own
felted cave
alone with the rings, the copper
and silver metals.
I am quiet and undisruptive.
I will keep myself contained.
Hidden I stay
in the little juke,
always tired,
always wearing thin.
Until you lift the lid.
Happy I am, again.

The Mechanic

my feeble Homunculus
red Jew
the top of your hat
is carved out
to fit a small light
I have called you brutal names
my albatross
looking back I see the film
loosely lifted
peering
outwardly your small eyes
in contrast my
hand
raising
to the space between us
as uncertain as dice
you remain
I am not a graduate
nothing on white to
tell that I am licensed
I am a mechanic
like him
rewiring myself, instead
always battling the
electrical currents
always zapping my fingers

Girlfriend Sweater

what it feels like:

thieving, merciless.

black bitch grasping for
both my calves.
stomach bile bubbling in the
cauldron, spitting up vodka
and half-digested pills.

this is the thrill?
I was walking on two feet twelve
hours ago, laughing and absorbing
September sun on my face.
now I am crawling like
a veteran.

this place no longer welcomes me
with open arms
instead
she cracks her jawbone in my eyes.

tottering on a child’s set
of bipolar la-lee-da.

I bet if you were to crack open
my egg-y brain you’d see the
walnut fissures my father gave to me.
folding up like a shoebox

I’m wondering if the man’s hum
is a television commercial or if I’m
just
that
tired.

sequels.

part II.

hey, I’m not dying, okay?
my fucking brain is sizzling
but I still feel like clutching on to you
and kissing you
and loving you.
this part isn’t going to last.
it’s a fucked-up thread
hanging out from my sweater sleeve,
but
I’m not going
to let the whole sweater unravel.
(not this time, I’m done doing that)

this is the sweater you helped me knit.

it gets cold in October.
I won’t
let
it
unravel.

I have to keep you warm, too.
come here.

Trapeze

the Jupiter rings
beneath my eyelids
have hung themselves to spin
on hoops of speed.

it is a ceremony and every
night I wear my sacerdotal nightgown.
I am catching chalky loaves in my mouth,
and I am waiting for a ghost.

a drooling, steel baby, it is I-
coughing up bits of organs,
plushy, fat blue bulbs of Wednesday,
expelling my mother’s Tuesday.

a little bit of heat will do the trick.
a stick or two- three pumps
and the blood is baptized,
boiling blessings, blossom-bruises.

I, nestled on my glass trapeze,
am playing movies in my eyes,
licking my fingers and pulling up
pages of a magazine.

you are listening to the priests inside
of my stomach-
do they speak God?
does he speak English back?

out into the air I make words,
sounding out like beaten horses.
I let the floor catch my phrases,
I let the sheets decide to hold my weight.

when I turn
onto my pink heels,
I won’t look back to see the
wine I’ve spilled.

I am the hebrew crown
and they are the sutured tourists.

Thick and Happy

I peel the perfume sampler from the magazine.
it’s a name I’ve never heard of,
another Italian who-ever-the-fuck creating
scents to attract the opposite sex.
scents like “Midnight Princess” and
“Dynamite.”
the girl on the cover looks like
some chick I went to college with-
all thick and happy looking.
I think her name was Lauren?
what was my name?
back then I used to paint
and I’d pass in my assignments with
hidden cocks etched into landscapes.
I’m sitting here on the bathroom floor
identifying women’s shoes as they
walk in and out.
Pseudo-Lauren smiles back at me
in her bright Chanel lipstick.
this is where I am.
Pseudo-Lauren gets a salty-teared
facial, dripping down her glossy dress.
this is where I am-
rubbing Italian sampler perfume
on my wrists
so I can pretend that I’m just
as valuable as the thick and happy model.

Withdrawal

convulsing and eyes
peeling back on their own.
lips parting exposing white houses
biting at themselves, jawbreakers.
glasses of blood and spit evacuating from the
throat. noises like an angry frog
bubbling from the bell-tower.
one bottle too many.
three pills too many.
sizzling sockets
fevers breaking pencils,
breaking bones and clipboards.
blue tethers tying wrists down-
a preacher exorcising Lucifer from
an atheist schoolgirl.
there are pockets of sick skin exploding
and cries that don’t bellow from infants.
halos are tipping off from the heads
of angels, tumbling like dimes on to
the silver trays.