unveil themselves in dark. They hang, each a jagged, silken sleeve, from moonlit rafters bright as polished knives. They swim the muddled air and keen like supersonic babies, the sound we imagine empty wombs might make in women who can’t fill them up. A clasp, a scratch, a sigh. They drink fruit dry. And wheel, against feverish light flung hard upon their faces, in circles that nauseate. Imagine one at breast or neck, Patterning a name in driblets of iodine that spatter your skin stars. They flutter, shake like mystics. They materialize. Revelatory as a stranger’s underthings found tossed upon the marital bed, you tremble even at the thought. Asleep, you tear your fingers and search the sheets all night.
Mae West: Advice
Ban tobacco: do bacon abed,
be delectable, collectable, a decent debacle.
Decollete’ don’t conceal; acne, do. Be bold
and be toned, an octane-blonde coed.
Be colonel not cadet, concede nada to doc;
date a cad and canoodle, be eclat on a cot.
Don’t lean on a deacon, be a dolt, a clone:
don’t bet on an Eden, don’t loot, don’t loan–
Be belle and ball too, a deb Coco-labeled;
be ocelot, be lancet, be candled and cabled.
Cancelled? Debated? Booed at to boot?
Elect to be tall. Don’t tan. Eat local.
Be oded, caboodled, be beacon and lect.
Don’t be a noodle: be cool and collect.