I’m allergic to hair dye and silver. Of the natives,
I love the Aztecs most of all, the way they lit fires
in the gouged chests of men to keep the world spinning.
I’ve seen women eat cotton balls so they wouldn’t eat bread
I will never be as beautiful as the night I danced in a garage,
anorexic, decked in black boots, black sweater, black jeans,
hip-hop music and a girl I didn’t know pulling my hips
to hers. Hunger is hunger. I got drunk one night
and argued with the Pacific. I was twenty. I broke
into the bodies of men like a cartoon burglar. I wasn’t twenty.
In the winter of those years I kept Christmas lights
strung around my bed and argued with the Italian landlady
who lived downstairs about turning the heat off,
and every night I wanted to drink but didn’t.
Turnpike // Ghost
Wrong morning, late train, I wearing red for you.
A girl-thief. Startled,
the train lurched between two smokestack towns.
The subway, eye of a concrete needle.
Orchids, purple-furred. Trashed along with the orange peels.
Tulip-wearer. I never understood Brooklyn,
how a place could be bigger than it was.
The bartenders ask if I want another before I’ve had a first.
You, frost-eyed, a lake in the pocket of your khakis. I launder,
fold the warm clothes,
find a porch inside them. You call me home. Home.
What an Oklahoman sky is made of:
arrows in red dirt, quilt in the home team’s colors.
Chimes to announce the wind.
My father wanted a suburban lawn. Warm biscuits at Red Lobster.
He knows America as equation to be memorized,
ghost + furniture + eastern turnpikes. Fog as home.
The expressway, congested with commuters,
cars that steer back the way they came. I never did learn to drive.
Even if I wanted to leave, I couldn’t.