The Temerity of Alexis Kinkaid

                    i.

A busload of virgins, a motor coach
     bursting at the sweating
seams of its vinyl seats with thirstier
     versions of their former
Selves, raven-tressed and resourceful co-eds,
     those freer spirits not
yet chained by suburban conservatism,
     exam-stressed college girls
dressed like magicians’ assistants, mini-

                    ii.

dresses and Mod minimalism aching
     for the distant Sixties,
anachronistic Hipsters ravenous
     and reminiscent, slick
nostalgic temptresses whispering in
     your ear with silent glares
gracefully licking from unblemished lips
     insidious grins, hips
working their wicked way in as you stop

                    iii.

and stare, redefining “getting off” as
     they somehow find a way
inside your mind, sauntering akimbo
     from behind cursive hearts
fingered onto frosted windows, ‘you smell
     like a church,’ you barely
muster, mourning courage as one wanders
     over without warning,
‘after all the candles have been blown out—’

                    iv.

‘…and the incense still lingers, a chorus
     of silence singing soft
vespers with intoxicating clouds of
     white smoke?’ she answers with
another question, as if voiced not by
     heaven but some echo
from farther below, tension tempering
     the interaction as
she delights in sensing how sensitive

                    v.

you are to physical attraction, her
     innocence shouting with
a peppermint- and patchouli-scented
     pout, venomous, fatal,
and palpable as she mouths quips your thoughts
     gloss over as your head
pictures her lips on your dick, ‘but I don’t
     go, not anymore; I
mean, I did, when I was just a kid, but

                    vi.

now I hang out here, life’s too short for prayers—’
     ‘…until you disappear’
she winks, her beauty at once antique and
     antic, as overt in
her majesty and aristocratic
     penury as she was
in her temerity, and is in my
     memory, explicit
and complicit, a crime exhibiting

                    vii.

no reticence at any mention of
     my bruises or damage,
no illusions of empathy or true
     repulsion at the sight
of my insecurity’s wound oozing
     atrocity, awkward
as an artist drowning in his own shame’s
     watered-down talent, pain
apprenticed to an absent master, an

                    viii.

inexperienced bastard commissioned
     by fate to paint for fame
an Annunciation, but ending up
     instead tagging a more
urban(e) Adoration, a juvenile
     vandal making of him-
self a deranged spectacle of ruthless
     humiliation, this
one whose pluck and verve serve to single her

                    ix.

out from among them, this exemplar of
     The Other, of tacit
desire, sister-daughter-mother, she’s no
     amateur, a real-world
enchantress bewitching her coven and
     the dumb men they make love
conquer, when Alexis Kinkaid came to
     pay for filling her tank
and ended up setting my soul aflame,

                    x.

a field trip’s pit-stop never letting me
     rest since that day, flooding
my dreams and my sheets with scenes too obscene
     for a lowly station
attendant to repeat, not when, in her
     boldness, she showed me things
making neon’s perpetual promise
     of “HOT GIRLS” seem coldest,
immodesty’s midnight forest of bored

                    xi.

perversions less sordid, what she took off
     with more than I wanted
to give, this vague vanishing act of hers
     a stunt all guys wish made
our lies worth such performance, never since
     have I figured it out,
how this chick, treating me to a taste of
     my own shtick, turned me from
a seasoned player into a cheap trick.