after the song “Misty Blue”
No longer able to sleep through the night,
she recounts one of her many
failings: taking people she’s just met
out for soft-shelled crabs as a way to test
their character, a means of determining
what kind of friend they’ll be
if she shows up on their doorstep around midnight
whispering, “Just need to talk.”
The crackling air of a needle
stuck in a groove
buffets her ears like cupped palms.
“Oh, it’s been such a long, long time / Look like I’d get you off of my mind /
But I can’t / Just the thought of you / Turns my whole world…”
Yet another dream of being chased.
using a spoon stolen from a nightmare,
a homunculus has turned
the small of her back
from a one-room shack into a mansion.
This little man has scooped away, making
space for rows and mounds,
cornfields and yellow tomatoes.
Whenever he thinks himself lonely,
she sings him a throaty ballad,
and he can’t help remembering what it is to be
an empty park bench in winter.
“Oh, honey, just the mention of your name / Turns the flicker to a flame /
Listen to me good, baby / I think of the things we used to do /And my whole world turns…”
She carries a knife, I meant to say
a tongue. She confuses people when she smiles.
Those black holes she calls eyes
can corkscrew down upon a single thorn
hidden within a bouquet of white roses, and her one
thought is of dropping
the whole mess into a pot
of boiling water to make grits,
the universal symbol of love gone bad. One day
her scars will lacquer over and she will become
a pomaded dragonfly skittering across
blue water and a bronze sky.