Minus 40


We live on the leash of our senses
     unable to feed back to existence its message, let’s just
     flicker with lingering fire our tongues sharper than a serpent’s tooth,
     each of our lives a knife softer than its egg, temptation’s cracked shell
     only a guess and everyone’s staring at the noise, asking themselves, Is this Hell‽


A truth told not in words but in light circles our legs as belief takes a bite,
     severance of nerves systemic as I wonder, Whose heart shall break first, yours or mine?
     “The fourth degree burns,” wails the academic up to his arms in curling papers,
     cinders withering muscles like flames splintering forests, trading courage
     for manufactured knowledge as if post-nominals could make a name.


We give in to each of our endings
     dying synæsthetic tragedies in tandem, a pageant of frame-by-frame auroral collisions,
     its obscenery so impurely cunt-scentual as we reach the third act of our avant garden,
     bagging our heads for merchandising and for mercy, always performing pity without
     bothering to rehearse its empty verses, encouraged by previous versions.


Our flesh freezes its blush once a jettisoned heart’s ice dusts off death’s kiss,
     wiping on something not quite, but much resembling, Love™—styling ourselves bon vivants
     just because our writing’s revered and reviled, making converts of saints and sinners from
     Saul to Paul, San Francisco to São Paulo, as if hyphens were hymens taken
     by authors from their co-writers when breaking the Muse’s silence.


When life’s measured in moments, not years, each tear
     yielding the same pain as any other subset of its divisors, you realize what you are,
     and what we can be, artists and martyrs plotting something “disgusting,” discussed
     by concerned citizens adoring us in secret, meeting weekly to receive our words
     since like chaos, they need it.