Saturday, April 05, 2008

Obscenity: a User’s Manual

    A blue gap-toothed comb.

My patent
    leather heels, dark and vicious as mirrors.

Cabbage roses, faded, stretched.
    The hem unraveling.

        I attach
            the leather cuffs reeking  of
    saddles and silverware to my bed posts.

After dark, the women with hands
        tucked into short fur coats
clack up and down the street.  They
    carry the reflected light of neon
in their hair.  It is your job, he says, to envy them.

    In the store, the women’s faces
        behind the counter.   Very pale,
        attempting to smile.  Often they
are busy in one corner
            holding an instrument
    and explaining its use to a customer.

There might be a key somewhere.  If
    there is, I swallow it.

Stuttering, whispering.  A small start when
    the bell on the shop door tinkles.

        I stuff
    the contraption in the bottom
            of my closet.  It has a stinging
                        smell, like a lemon
    rind held too close to your nose.

A spot on the center
    of the chair cushion.

A tug on my earlobe with his teeth.

A row of recently cleaned slippers
        by the bed.

The way he wants me to
    talk while we’re at it,
    to tell him things that happen on fishing ships
when the men have been
        at sea a long time.

The fishscales,  I say,
        get caught in their beards.


        A cup of old coffee,
    reheated, red letters on the rim.

3 comments:

jillypoet said...

I have been awaiting a new Christine poem. It was worth the wait! You are my newest hero.

Christine said...

Thanks! I am bowled over by your praise.

Pamela said...

Wow. I really like this.