Sleeping with Rene Magritte.
Wouldn't we love to see that which we know is hiding from us?
Because he was not you, he seemed amazed by my nakedness.
Threw back his head and cried, Ooh-la-la!
when my nightgown slid to the floor.
Filled with the torrid air of his admiration, my breasts began
to swell and expand-- a performance
for the source of their awakening--
until my whole body grew cartoonish, statuesque, like
giantess grafted with Betty Boop, like a device in love
with its own detonation,
I pitched a white flag and braced myself for the pleasure
appetite takes in satiation. Ooh-la-la-la!
Afterward, with his head on my American stomach and his hand
wrapped around my right tit we'd stare into the dove-
shaped mirror on the ceiling
while he chanted somewhere between laughter and tears, This is not a
This is not a breast.
I admit I loved him like that, taut and urgent, famished and rewired
by repetition, the way he looked on the new moon,
pacing the yard in a house coat,
with a rifle under his arm and the whites of his eyes aglow,
like a deranged Pepe Le Pew searching for a shit-perfumed girl.
If it's true that everything-- cloud and curtain, motor and iron
even the mattress in the alley
with busted springs--
conceals something unknown
and therefore perfect, then isn't each discovery its own undoing?
As in the night you tied my wrists to the bedposts with twine--
my soft-core strain--my need,
naive, to tear the skin's seal,
dislodge the deep image--a bowler hat or a birdcage embedded in the
What you didn't say: Disclosure is a double-bind
. As in: You must love me.
Still, you were mesmerized that bald second
before the blood began--
the raw skin--pale and organ pink, like two pearled secrets you said
I could never keep.
In the morning, the scabs burned like some outlaw underworld
against the bone china and the Belgian waffles
drowned in whipped butter.
It stung in the shower when the soap dripped down my arm, stung
we stood on the roof watching the weather gather like the hem of
a dress we trip over and back into ourselves.