Sleeping with Maduro
He’s reading his cupped phone. I’m reading a novel.
Like most novels, this one’s about the holocaust.
Dozens of times I’ve offered to read aloud from it.
I want to tell him how weather rains down on lovers.
Yes, he says (in a way that’s asking and telling at once).
I reach for his shoulder but he shakes me off.
He says if he wanted me to touch his shoulder
he would have put his shoulder on my hand.
Neither does he want to listen to stars singing
where the cat gut string guitars meets the sea.
I am so sorry that the holocaust lights my board
but dead composers are much better ghosts in your ear.
Maduro is lying on his back, sand piling up
in the creases where salt drips from the prolapse.
I have secrets and magic and tactful ways to arouse:
I lean. I press. I bump. I urge. I sweat. I witch. I boil.
I read a passage to him where an SS officer smiles
at the natural order of what can’t ever be natural.
In Caracas, the electricity turns on for seven minutes.
Sometimes, we forget and the house lights blind us in bed,
and I realize, instead of swallowing Maduro’s cock,
I’m only tasting a scorpion who crept into my mouth
from the calle.
Drinking Alone with Ernesto Cardenal
Chafing blues and some yellow in the garden,
sharing a bird bath of dark Spanish cave wine
with bachelor cicadas, a few sails of wind
doing all the work of my lungs. I taste it,
wipe my sable-whiskered face in grape,
lick my knuckles, then raising a fist to the square
of light in an upstairs window, I ask the poet
making brilliant love up there to drink with me,
then I sigh inside because he can’t drink—
only wets his lips without swallowing—
and even though I can’t make a tide
or spend a few hours flying over Europe
in search of the perfect espresso, I comfort
myself with his shadow-less smile worth every
howl, choking on my own small-boned alphabet,
and reflect on levitation dance because no loneliness
is impossible. Turning, I find a long line of friendly
crows waiting for their chance to bathe in dark.
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