Before this day I loved like an animal loves a human, with no way to articulate how my bones felt in bed or how a telephone felt so strange in my paw. O papa— I called out to no one— but no one understood. I didn’t even. I wanted to be caught. Like let me walk beside you on my favorite leash, let my hair grow long and wild so you can comb it in the off-hours, be tender to me. Also let me eat the meals you do not finish so I can acclimate, climb into the way you claim this world. Once, I followed married men: eager for shelter, my fur curled, my lust freshly showered. I called out, Grief. They heard, Beauty. I called out, Why? They said, Because I can and will. One smile could sustain me for a week. I was that hungry. Lithe and giddy, my skin carried the ether of a so-so self-esteem. I felt fine. I was fine, but I was also looking for scraps; I wanted them all to pet me. You think because I am a woman, I cannot call myself a dog? Look at my sweet canine mind, my long, black tongue. I know what I’m doing. When you’re with the wrong person, you start barking. But with you, I am looking out this car window with a heightened sense I’ve always owned. Oh every animal knows when something is wrong. Of this sweet, tender feeling, I was wrong, and I was right, and I was wrong.
Ariadne Plays the Physician
We must set this story straight. We must say there is another angle to this foreign particle lodged in my ribs like a small ivory tiger or a Chinese lamp, the oil coating my bones. Theseus, you know you didn't break me. I was the one who came to you with a magnifying glass, needing my Oxford credits for the University of Someone Wants Me: my gold-sealed social stigma. I made my own marks. & everyone should know it—I have an A+ in the humors of you. I was an Edison bulb in a child’s bedchamber, a Spanish fan flirting with fire, smoking as pity turned to shock at mediocre parties where conversations are weak with the ordinary. My outfit betrayed me—you wept right through my clinical gloves like a little boy with a bad heart & a mean streak. I monitored your ailments, but my logic was circular: What is man? What is man? What is this man doing here with me? No bright conclusion. I was bad at doctoring the truth. I was in it for myself. & the skull I carried in my hand in case anyone took record? Still on my fingers.