Glue, gurneys, the orchestra; Arithmetic; My Aphrodisiac”

by | Aug 9, 2022 | Issue Twenty-Eight, Poetry

Glue, gurneys, the orchestra

There was no red carpet, but gurneys 
in a line and doctors, like motors, 

and yelling —
a schizophrenic man, whose villain was everyone, improvising

a melody of slurs
over the beeping of machines:

his most fortissimo note, Tranny, 
but still insipid, like a dull timpani,

like a muted trombone. I practiced
my poetry in the emergency room, writing

of cutting 

beside the vein, eyeing
the red run of blood; it felt like ecstasy, it felt like sex. Lie still, 

and let me glue your wound, 
said the physician over the hospital’s sweet instrumental.


There is nothing to be solved here; 
no equations to be balanced — instead, the howls

of church organs with the murmurs of prayers. 
with regular petals and in five parts, sepals
bound together
above the ovary, and yellow.
I have never believed before.

I diagnose the plant as begonia, but now, 
set aside your grief for this: I tell you

it is the yellow begonia 
that is the deity, 
rising from the Earth with X.  

My Aphrodisiac

I played music for our makeout, classical,
and we French-kissed as I slid my hand into your underwear.

I bit you, the kick of pain as a crescendo of the violin played
from my laptop. You were speechless like the music, wordless.

I know the art of the wordless better than you, I know violin.
My other hand rested on your neck, lightly gripped, and I know sex.

I tightened my fingers as the laptop loudened, relaxing my grip
with every diminuendo. The concerto’s first movement

finished on an E, and
you could finally breathe again.

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