Table of |
Hopper's All Night Diner
She found the perfectly imperfect man
while eating a tuna sandwich on pumpernickel
at Beckman's Diner on Jasmine Street.
With make-up, she resembled a Myrna Loy
when Hollywood was the best myth
to matinee a girl's long dry afternoons.
Without make-up, Myrna looked ghostly
in ripped jeans and a Tee shirt
that read Ziggy Lives!
The man with five day stubble
was still squinting from watching
too many RKO reruns in stiff socks
in an apartment the size of a caboose.
The sirens never distracted him.
He looked into the mirror behind the counter
and said "Have we met before?"
Myrna spoke into the mirror as well.
She said, "You dreamt me up."
She then left, circled around the block
that was littered by club goers
refused entry. They were scattered
in twos and threes. Some loped in solo orbits.
None were ugly. None, she surmised,
were bad dancers. Just too opaque for the night.
She returned to the diner, peered through the glass.
The man was still sitting at the counter,
his fingers tapping the rim
of what she guessed
was a half-empty coffee cup.
She remembered him from somewhere.
The city was such a recurring carnival
of faces. And subway tunnels. There were
so many tunnels where people stood
shoulder to shoulder without speaking.
She felt cold and she wanted
to keep walking. She was sure she had
seen him or part of him somewhere.
Perhaps in the tunnel.
She remembered him when he had no wings,
was just the epidermis of a thought she could own.
She bought him expensive shoes, a size too large
and he'd stumbled into her at intersections.
She thought he had died in a car accident,
leaked toxic substances into the air.
Became a karma of clap and fling. Now, in her room,
rehearsing an erotic arabesque for a potential victim
with only one true leg, she sees the man-butterfly
inside the window. Outside, one of her father's
tractors rams against ancient rock, stubborn dirt,
the others are sleeping out of gear. Or maybe the men are.
Chasing the man-butterfly across the room,
following the shadows of his crazy flight across the ceiling,
she catches him in her bare feet. He was trying to imitate
a swallowtail, but she pronounced him as a mourning cloak.
She whispers to him as he struggles against her cupped hands,
"I'm too evil to ever have children. Everything I catch or deliver,
I'll just destroy." She keeps the man- butterfly in a glass jar.
There is a notch in the lid so nothing will become breathless
before harvest. In another room, she is making love to a destroyer
of women, someone who can only hatch alibis and innuendos.
Her younger sister, who lives in three separate worlds, in love
with the past tense of each of them, opens the jar and glues
her sex-eggs to the man-butterfly's wings. He falls, flutters,
gathers his gust. A strong breeze sweeps through the window.
In this way, she'll know that her children will fly.
you only mattered to munchkins on steroids
and harequin dames wearing social disease
on their outskirts. your life could be reduced
to a used subway ticket, but if you steal a ride
it could be a lifetime sentence. birds rob
your window view and leave your stalking lovers
breathless with panic-holes. you dream of dogs
dreaming of you dreaming of them as blind puppies.
somebody will not wake up. somebody has a tender foot
with a leash. somebody's tired of cleaning up all the shit
being made to shampoo the carpets with intrinsically
beautiful tankas. mr. bojangles sends you his love
then barfs a whole night's supply of pureed.
your mother stays gagged in one of your dreams
about hotel rooms and bad drug deals.
if you could scream you'd attenuate the universe
with increasingly relentless orbits of inorganic silence.