Many see a flutterby when they look into this
omniscience I see as a skinniness too densely drawn
or a mystery unhinged by its own symmetry, a twinning
I think of as a listener that thinks along
with me, fused in a tweed, a red herring-
bone weave in the dazzling darkness
and bleached afterness some see
as a necklace of brilliants curved in gift. As if!
A color visible only in ultra-
violet light or a source beyond mathematics I think
of as a second self, an underhum. Or thought. Till I saw
innocence tortured by a force
beyond kindness, an unconditional indifference
or wick for wickedness that wanted trauma dolls.
I tell this as a clock tells time but telling can’t diminish it
as clocks can’t dwindle time. Am I still alive?
Birds that sing behind a waterfall, horses kneeling
Christmas Eve are what others see in what I see
as us delivered up to this chill that searches me.
Because life's too short to blush,
I keep my blood tucked in.
I won't be mortified
by what I drive or the flaccid
vivacity of my last dinner party.
I take my cue from statues posing only
in their shoulder pads of snow: all January
you can see them working on their granite tans.
That I woke at an ungainly hour,
stripped of the merchandise that clothed me,
distilled to pure suchness,
means not enough to anyone for me
to confess. I do not suffer
from the excess of taste
that spells embarrassment:
mothers who find their kids unseemly
in their condom earrings,
girls cringing to think
they could be frumpish as their mothers.
Though the late nonerotic Elvis
in his studded gut of jumpsuit
made everybody squeamish, I admit.
Rule one: the King must not elicit pity.
Was the audience afraid of being tainted
―this might rub off on me―
or were they―surrendering―
what a femme word―feeling
solicitous―glimpsing their fragility
in his reversible purples
and unwholesome goldish chains?
At least embarrassment is not an imitation.
It's intimacy for beginners,
the orgasm no one cares to fake.
I almost admire it. I almost wrote despise.