Low flame creeps from the pipe in your loud mouth. The bright

of me recast each day by artificial means: the ashes

from your fire-breathing, glare of needy teeth, bared

as if to smile. I shadow-puppet filthily, ballerina backlit by

the hazy spotlight of smoke. As part of the show, I recite

the short list of things that still move me: my youngest sister’s

wet eyelashes, a song my mother used to sing in the kitchen

when snipping the ends from roses. Like a summer, she

hummed, with a thousand Julys. I’ve given up

on sleep, basking in the glare of exhaustion with you,

your tongue thumping on the floor like a cartoon

wolf. Ahooga, you sonuvabitch. Ahooga, you perfect

pervert. Now, sit still and stop shaking. Slice me

a mango and watch me eat it. I’ll jelly my body in juice

for you, I’ll pink and thick and glisten. Hard to say now

who is audience. Something laced, something leather,

something borrowed, something bodice, switchblade

tucked into a garter. This is all to say yes—the show

might go on forever, the stars shivering their nervous watch

on us, the angels blushing at the blood we draw, the silent applause

in your burnt mouth when I let you, let you, let you.

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