Apology for Albuquerque
At dusk the mountains a tincture
of tomato & coffee. Glinting jets
were slowly magnetized above.
I tell you: I was never so lonely.
Military helicopters shook
the condensation under my micro-
waved quesadillas as the bees
veritably dry-humped the rosemary
bush. To a drunk man on Central
I was a “piece of shit white-trash
lord”—& maybe he was right:
maybe I cried in my roasted swan,
swatted the full chalice of mead
on the coffee table. I screamed
at my only friend in Taco Bell’s
drive-thru. Should you know this?
I see you as the cat, its eyes
heavy with suspicion or sleep,
as I’d jump from sleep, gasping.
If cities are desire, I let a city
define me: City of Respiring
in a Paper Bag. Nonsensical City
of musty beer hangovers & the sun’s
daft brightness, Lonely but Beautiful
City with cross-hatched jet exhaust,
pink & orange in the waning hours
against the sky’s interminable
blue. This is not about the self
but rather its near-erasure: let
self-mutilation mean not hara-kiri
so much as autopsy: peeling back
the dermis (pinned to the table),
sawing then prying the sternum
to view the pulsing innards, finding
there is nothing of intelligence,
no lecture to learn but the city’s
unrelenting mind, links of cars
in nacreous soot on the distant
freeway, each refracting its small
version of the sun—an inertia of living
opposed to the persistent desire
for destruction. The dove beat its wings
as the cat sunk in its jaws, harder.
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