Dorothy Valens: Thug
When you think you know what comes next I change into myself, catching
you off your guard. I won't let your rebel spirit predict me. I've been
draped over life's vaulting horses by men more insistent with no
love in their hearts, and I never knew their names, so give it your best
Frank Booth and hit me. You know that I liked it when he put his disease
but I lived to see him paint my living room with his brain,
and I lived to breastfeed my son
until he turned 17. And I enjoyed it.
It's almost dry by now.
I've been waiting so long
for the paint to dry.
The teapot hovers
before fire edges
it over the boiling point.
Lines have been drawn,
invisible silent divisions
of matter in space,
Christmas tree easter rabbit.
Promises to a child; the razor
decides what I shall be.
And does she keep it in a locket
or finger it with satisfaction?
And if not, then why did she do it?
Walk over me.
I won't mind.
Put your knife in me;
my blood is deadly.
Use my head to pour your stories into,
I'll listen to your every word
then turn it into a poem.
When you read this poem, you won't recognize
yourself in it.
Then I'll write another, kept to myself.
That will be the something I get.
I love to tell you off,
and you parade your youth
like any violence can be blameless
or your beauty is flawless.
You sense that I'm lonely
and know that I'm angry.
Can I tatter your flesh like a razor?
Even though I know better.
the violence erupts in the evening sky
most sublime is the rage that happens
when a hypernova erupts into space
streaking a million light years per minute
this is what it's like in heaven
Colour My World
When I die, I won't think anymore:
a Cartesian concession to the future.
When I go out I'll not return
or even keep dreamwalking.
I'll be dead
in my bed surrounded
by a forest of books I loved so much
they lost their appeal.
Then the fire
when they dump me into flame,
consuming all I was
into a purity of ash,
to be kept in a green urn.
Does Anti-Matter Even Matter?
Black shadow of positive, a fragment
crescent-sliced in the autumn.
Nothing's happening or else a portal yawns,
collapsing two juxtaposed discontinuous space-times.
They play tricks with my mind.
My eyes make me blind.
Each bare reminder, though I know
they won't find her.
The gourmet kitten licks her face clean
and tiny diamonds pour from his eyes.
Reality television creeps out of a Florida swamp.
Runaway NASCAR, ice cream on fire.
Sizzling away in a pan on high fire,
the salty kiss of the bacon and bonghits.
I skip like a record over what I don't desire:
living forever on this sphere full of tires.
TIMOTHY FERINE attended Sarah Lawrence College, B.A. 1988, where he worked with Thomas Lux, Joan Larkin, Jane Cooper, and Patsy Cumming. His poem "Waking" appeared in the Winter '99 PLOUGHSHARES and received a nomination for the 1999/2000 Pushcart Prize. Timothy is the Poetry Editor of GIMLET EYE.
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