Dissociation, A Radiance
Independence Day and thunder knocks
the light out of the walls. Shame
comes soggy-bottomed and I swell
into a weapon. Warrior singed, throat flooded
with gin and bleach. I masturbate and meditate. Unshaved,
I litter my body with animal corpses
smothered in cheese. I fell through the attic floor,
split teeth like young corn. July fucked me
and I was ragged for it. I am making myself ready,
doused in oil for the burning.
ii. When I was a child teased
for my name, my mother
said to tell them Slaughter
was a river running Cherokee, the irony
of a family tree whose roots couldn’t be
more Anglican, the name a word meaning
run, a warning against pale faces
like mine, who would snuff them out
with smallpox, then claim stock in their blood.
My family was forged by these kinds
of delicate arsons. When my mother
was a teen her boyfriend drove drunk
and shattered the girl in the passenger’s seat.
And that was the first time I heard the word
manslaughter. And did not think this man
was my almost-father, did not think of my father,
slaughtered onto a living room carpet. And I wonder
which of these stories are mine to tell.
My cat carves a blood moon
into my wrist.
Under a canopy of broken sunshine
I sacrifice my body to Nosferatu
mosquitos. I sleep on carousels
blanketless. I masturbate twice
and forget to meditate.
I am pillaged by the carnal air, smells heavy
like gunpowder, summer camp,
sticky knees and fogged black glass bejeweled
with far-off eye-shine. A rabbit
in the trees, maybe. Or something bigger.
Some terrible glorious afterstorm.
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