by Abby Starr
After Maggie Nelson
I have painted a virgin's robes with the color blue.
It began with the paintbrush—
I soaked a broken-open Crayola Sky marker in water,
tickled the bristles of a paintbrush with it,
and traced the outline with Joanne's 99-cent fabric paint.
And here we are.
Don't wax poetic on the
ethics of painting the robe or what
will come of it after
its blueness fades and the
wearer's dead and maggots have
eaten out the eyes of the robe-wearer while she rots in the grave.
For now, there's the color of sunlight, me with the paints,
and you with the advisory against the paints.
I don't want to paint on you.
It's just that an all-hungry maw of a primary color lives inside my throat
and it'll flail its limbs and
break my neck if I don't feed it my aphrodisia.
And I do want a way out of feeding it,
even if it's between the seams of 200-ply cotton
and chemically drowned pigments.
I'll gain some texture.
I'll have bristles.
I'll submerge myself in water all day if it helps.