Esther at the Helio

                    For Nadya Ginsburg—


‘I don’t know—I’ve never done this before’
     is a bunch of bull, more shit than even
     I can pull, experienced as I am
     in turning tricks, we both know I can’t fool
     my Muse with a myth, my effusive mouth
     can’t possibly add another story
     to the Tower of Babel, nor a love
     letter to the lost Hollywood your smile
     signifies, not when what I do to self-
     promote makes like any third twenty-ninth
     birthday and blows out hard before I can
     approach your altar’s flame, lips wishing and
     praying for another skid-row chance with

my Beauty whose truth I treasure more than
     gold, fishing for your acknowledgment with
     a poem I’ve stitched from compliments no
     subtler than a brazen chorus girl scorned
     by the world for feeling sisterly, for
     barely sporting a sequined bustier
     bursting at its heat’s bawdy seams, now here
     I go again, Babe, forsaking my share
     of talent, mortgaging its devil’s due
     to make room for a little ode this doe-
     eyed perversifier hopes will take from
     your pedestal its burden, fame that quakes
     at your name’s mention, sending to frenzy

and full quiver, every thigh of earth
     my porn’s filth plows against, spilling like ink
     seeds of devotion I drown my Self in,
     quill dedicating my scribbling to an
     ideal, an image of yours flickering
     televisionary on an aching
     oracle bone I hold in my desert
     palm, knowing I’m not alone wondering
     if Esther at the Helio can feel
     the burn of my glance, if, doing it out
     in the open, you can perceive what pours
     from my pen’s pool between these lines and read
     aloud what love for you I feel, even

though you were so adamant then about
     your one rule: there being no eye-contact,
     none, unless or until I stop acting
     a fool and take the knee for my queen whose
     art I eat with all the reverence of
     a fiend, ravenous for your heart as if
     its many beatings of me were softened
     by the warm glow of a screen, or the gloss
     of a lens, when all I want is to get
     laid/down/pinned up with you on the cover
     of a magazine, now is that not some
     tragicomedy‽ a confession whose
     tour of the room turns off (t)his microphone?