Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Rose White Rose Red (for s and r)

i was rose white twice
both times rose red was black haired
much more beautiful than i

rose 1. painted lilies
emerging from the dark like candles
we ate sushi in the shapes of flowers
she studied medicine, got all a's
her smooth eyelids
her runner's thighs
her feral grin
i was so young and scared
there was nothing to fear
she might have saved me
if i'd let her

rose red 2. was a poet and musician
we giggled on her bed in her tiny house
way up in the canyon
wearing only bras
we were always dressed in see-through shirts those days
dancing together
to 80's songs in our own small dark club as if no one else was there
attending shows of neon lights and electronic sounds
galleries filled with art i didn't understand
i was always hot it seemed
we were always sweating
trying to cool the back of our hair-strewn necks
in the night air

i should have kissed rose red both times
instead i lost myself
to the devouring


  1. What I would say to you if I had your number 3

    In your dark, I would whisper
    the words ravishment,
    and abandoned to the
    ravishing dark
    swallow the words you whisper.

    Of your song I would
    make a child,
    my belly swelling,
    abandoning myself to her,
    to the song,
    my heart-drum-beat
    her first dance.
    I will swallow
    your song,
    transformed into
    a girl,
    with the blue eyes
    all my fathers children
    share, with long
    fingers like those
    that tangle in my hair,
    her eyes singing back
    to you
    the things my poems
    can't quite say.

  2. genderless, we become
    lying together like fallen branches who insist
    on blossoming still, somehow
    more beautiful here, in our tangle of bliss
    than we were when we rose and rose
    and rose alone

    genderless, we are
    high pitches, low growls - all of ecstasy

    genderless, we'll be
    musical notes, swirling -- the way thoughts do when they stop,
    and become something else
    in a kiss

  3. father, you wreathed me in a crown of fiber optic cables
    a light transfusion
    tying me to your chariot with data packets
    i became a part of your myth, a part of your land

    you wanted me to overcome my anxious way
    of cowering at the darkness pressing at the windows
    whispering to be let in
    you commissioned a special gown
    with sleeves of coaxial cable
    to let dawn walk into the close night

    sent my rosy fingers to tap out beats
    and display my light
    in rooms decorated with concrete and sweat and promise
    promise of human touch
    promise of escape from another night tangled in the sheets alone

    when it was time for me to push the sun into the sky
    i watched them leave
    glistening in sweat, stumbling, smiling
    smeared makeup accentuating their every fear, their every flaw
    i returned to you, jealous of the night

    (sorry i took so many days off!)

  4. Embarcadero

    That time, missing the last BART train leaving
    me in the Embarcadero at night, no cab fare:
    tire treads grew speakers, every window melted
    into a speeding mirror, and footsteps
    are never Swiss in the dark.

    Even with slit eyes
    I wasn't the brave cat, I didn't have fangs
    or a cape and my Doc Marten's were half
    a size too big to slink with stealth.

    Shades and voices grew
    inversely to my belly
    or somewhere lower
    and I was too indecisive
    should I stay standing beneath the streetlamp
    or scamper into a dark doorway
    before they came into view:
    spiked hair, four knee high boots, leather motorcycle jackets,
    stepping into the light beneath the lamp
    laughing at something I didn't make out
    and then, stopping, two
    girls with shining eyes, the shorter one
    casually looping her arm round the other's waist
    and inclining her face, kissing
    as though nothing else mattered

    not the pending bus ride across the bay bridge
    or the skinny geek, or other throats echoing, or the cadence
    of passing cars thump-thumping down the street,
    not harsh yellow light or sharp long shadows
    or tomorrow or yesterday or the tangy salty smell
    barreling down Market - nothing intruded
    and suddenly the dark felt warmer,
    though I didn't step closer
    they made the night feel safe.

  5. Clementine was young, vibrant, and vulnerable
    yet apparently, replaceable but
    one night she decided to make her world

    Sweet and plump nothing ever phased her
    until they phased her out but still
    she waited,
    brilliant and cold
    capable of holding her own

    But eventually, her world turned winter white
    an ice queen, waiting, and then
    the snow began to fall
    snowing every day till there was no technicolor left

    But still Clementine danced under the falling dust,
    she lay in the powder and watched the snowflakes fall,
    kissing her forehead, nose, and cheeks
    later that night, she stared out the
    frosted windowpanes, waiting

    The next day roses appeared
    and everyday after that
    a blanket of thorns, a vision of red
    pure and seductive, she realized
    someone noticed
    someone else was watching
    and waiting, too.