Pleasure in Exile

Centuries of fetishized feet
     soot Parisian streets,
biblifying secrets they reek,

walking apocryphal as purged
     stories of burnt-out
celebrities masquerading

as bright revolutionaries
     dirty traffic, coughs
fading past us, whispering names

they drop as we moan ours, soundwaves
     breaking inside me
like a condom dispensed from some

machine in a public washroom,
     impossible love
blossoming its toxic, lust’s tune

bottoming its chorus of laws
     and loud naysayers
speaking against us, swallowing

up lies, and spitting at the world
     without shame our pride,
spilling forth tides of rose water

dusting damp the patchwork parquet
     of garret bathroom
floors with its refugee fragrance,

leaking prayers saying, ‘Relax, they’re
     just people,’
the raw
consolation of quantity

washes from me nearly all eight
     billion wicked thoughts
darkening light’s city, unwatched

matches boxing shadows to ship
     southpawed, flames across
incendiary quais in that

same self-satisfied way we used
     to, when worrying
about strangers’ opinions was

beneath our station, beyond our
     arrondissement, slurred
tongues enabling and ennobling

particles of our flawed sorry
     condition, drunken
(k)nights making kings of slovenly

men, princes of sinners, devils
     elevating our
Selves whenever in our depths we

seek ascension and find it low,
in an unknown gutter, some of

us looking at the stars, others
     swallowing them up
as we spit venom and fuck each

other like scorpions, our tails
     wet and poisoning
one another as the world ends,

finding treasure in a slumlord’s
     cracked smile, her crack-den
pleasure in exile for two men

as together we both defile
     natural order,
exploring and exploiting this

desert in our hearts we carry
     with us and never
can cross, no matter what people

we pillage, village we burn, or
     border agents we
piss off, unable to detain

us or to wash from our mouths these
     perverse curses we
chorus, the Devil our only

advocate and the universe
     our venue as we
play the parts of whorey martyrs,

sacrificing whatever stains
     of cheap wisdom
we gain for freedom’s painful birth,

uncertain of our purpose or
     destination, but
taking no prisoners as we

search for some place to serve as our
     safe-haven from fate’s
tyranny, the torture that is

this unfulfilling existence,
     this incurable
curse of an underwhelming earth.