Cleopatra's Magick and More
You cannot hear or see
dancers on plush carpets.
The katydids will cover the walls
with grand pliés--
I like remembering wolverines
sprawled in bathtubs,
large branches spying
like the Queen of Wands.
It won’t matter if you leave
the faucets on. One day they may
resume their can-can pragmatism
and douse the curtains in hibiscus liquid.
These rooms trace a cross
on their foreheads.
A mattress curls and sucks
Let the chandeliers
salt the floorboards--
These are our last rites.
White inks obliterate
her black hair & black
eyes & black
lips painted to bring
the sun closer to her
teeth. The maids dunk
her jewels, let them lick
her toes and navel.
Sometimes she asks
to be left alone with
her carnelian lined
across her damp & hungry
The High Priestess and the Hierophant Are With Child
As you sleep, your favorite constellations will puddle
at the corners of your mouth & you will
pick them from your teeth come morning. Do not flush
them down the drain—They are seeds. Instead, baste them
into yourself & become a surrogate. Become
a martyr to the Arcana & watch
Mars lean to feel the kick of your belly. Be proud
of your new gravitas & grand plié once
like a feral castle left to collapse & sag
into the elderly sea. Watch a new World
cyst around you and roll
stolidly into place.
It is difficult to see
past the old gas station--
This fog keeps my own hands
from me, but reveals the uncaged
crags of my unusually wet
I call for you—a summoning.
You confuse the pulse of my
blue raincoat for another
Let us pray for everyone
who has ever loved the moon.
Morgana, comparing one cold
necromancy to another, traces
two arrowed hearts in the sand--
one is swept fast under the shag
of sea, while the other reflects
maddeningly across the sheen of
each tentacle and in her own eyes.
She will rub them at every break of sleep,
only to find caked moonlight on her pillow.
I like to look at my own reflection,
but only while wading in salt water.
It gently filters the olive
from my face and for a moment
I am both alive and ghosted under one
weakened sun. I scoop this self
into a yellow cockle and unhinge
it like a compact when I feel vain
about what is to come.
The Arrival of Salem
Everyone is naked
except for the salt they carry & everyone
believes in the virgin
with a full deck of cards--
She names her first daughter
Rebecca & shucks
the flickering light
bulb from her mouth, red
from sleep. Names her second
Unhaunted & watches
both play through latticed windows. She knows
they are ghosts, feral as
moons, & still she cleans their bald
palms. She says
one of you is America & one of you
is a chrysanthemum shrine
& that is for you to decide.