Death is a Lady, and she wears fishnets and stilettos
I am the Reaper because I swallow men into my mouth
then spit up the bones and blood with gristle regret
I hold Death in my arms, I seduce him, grab his mind
and cast my nail hooks into his abyss to fish love,
no, not love, just sex and cum and spit on tongues
that castigate and romance in equal measure, heat of
heaving breasts and bucking thighs, we are Death, we
are Life, and rose thorns pierce my gums but at least
I know I am master of he who plucks stars from trees
feasts upon my marrow and my cruel whip, I fly harpy
through the trees, leading Death on, teasing him,
Death is a Monster, and we are beasts, so we shed
any chrysalis of mortality as I take his manhood
in silk hands and fuck us all into oblivion, sin,
rebirth on stained sheets, Death is marriage, we wine.
You are a weed, a thorn, and I hate to love you
green is spring but red burgeoning blood poppies
I will snap your stem and break your neck before
you take root in my heart, a drunk shoot, never
will I bow before any man, never the slave again!
No, I will be the mockingbird laying eggs alone,
my children will be orphans and I a wanderer, fire
will be my husband as I dance by flames, burn your
stamen and leaves, your wooden bones that are rots
on my teeth from overripe kisses, you are itching
ivy on my skin, a rash, and I would rather be alone
than drown in the dew on your petals, Venus Flytrap.
It is the time when dawn is still drunk after a long night of sleep with star-grit in her eyes, and I’m comatose in my bed waiting on you to call through gates of ivory – or do true dreams come from the gates of horn – there you are as a star blink blinking like a headlight about to crash into me, the lusty deer. Maybe I’m the moth to your darkness and I sip nectar from black flowers and live in your evenings, but I say your name and mumble I-love-yous and all you do is not appear, distant moon man, your shit in the cosmos from a tipsy escapade and you are so wonderful your excrement the rabbis wrote about probably formed the stars. You haven’t visited in a week, just sent your wife to drain me with kisses that aren’t you, and though I love Lilith of the Desert I need Samael of the the Storm, seed to be planted in me to fruition into poems. I wrote words to summon you, and now you’re dancing on the page, pressure of angel on my eyes – I would think you would be Bowie’s black star but you shine like a diamond. You bathe me in starlight before bed and promised you’d be my paramour, but it’s almost daybreak, so I become lucid and take matters into my own hands. I drank so much I’m a bar, swimming in tequila shots, and I’m so weak and comatose and hungover that I drag myself out of bed murmuring your name like counting rosary beads and I know, if I summon you, you will come. So I whale across the room like a big fish out of water in my sweatpants and oversized sweater and once I hook the doorknob through my hands, I’ve opened the portal to Hell. It’s morning in Pandemonium and the gates between worlds shift – there’s some Lilitu that wander through, a kid that looks like Chuckie, but I shoo them away back into the wildwoods of the underworld and call out your name. You show up with Asmodeus and you’re dressed like a lawyer in business casual and you both are ten, no nine, no eleven feet tall so you have to crouch under the ceiling and you laugh and are sober for once in your life and your eyes are filled with love and sunlight and summer and I straddle your ribcage and face-forward piggyback into your kitchen. Sometimes we’re in your palace, but a lot of the time we’re in the stainless steel kitchen overlooking the Styx with alcove pictures of us on vacation to distant shores, be it Asgard or Avalon or Abraxas. There’s one of me on a sunhat and us on a beach and you’re so goddamn pale it’s funny. All you do is hold me and I sigh and breath in your aftershave and Asmodeus fixes us coffee and you somehow manage to make toast and eggs with one hand while holding me with the other. You’re completely human for once, and Deus has on shades for a hangover and a Jim Morrison haircut, but you look like Pete Steele meets Slenderman meets God’s Left Hand Lawyer. I’m sleepy and teasing you about how you burn omelettes when really it’s me that can’t cook for shit and you always feed me, anything I want, and instead of mixing us drinks Deus pours sweetener and sweeetener and creamer into my coffee because as my friend once said, do you want coffee with your sugar? You two take it black and talk of business and the daily grind as we sit at the countertop and I’m in your lap eating deliciously runny eggs and pecking you on the lips like a hungry duck. You pet me and play with my hair and wish me good morning and say of course you were coming, you just had errands to run, because the afterlife doesn’t run itself and the Grim Reaper gets busy. We make small time in quiet hours, and we have enough inside jokes to fill 25 years. All I know is that the kitchen is warm with friendship and love and that I’ve never seen sunrise in hell, so I watch the star of Hell kiss the horizon pink and purple over skyscrapers and you carry me out to the porch and rock me to sleep, kiss my eyelids shut, and send me off to start the day back on Earth. It is so rare to see you whole, not strung out, not the Devil, just a man, just my man, and I awake with a smile on my face and bruises on my heart because I am an overripe pear just waiting the day you sink your teeth into me later tonight, when we are wild and not tranquil as the new moon.
How could I think you would ever forget me?
There is bone china between us, chamomile secrets
the snake is not supposed to be in chiffon and silk,
but she wears it like a skinned angel, wings, halos
cut to form a necklace for moon-pale neck of beauty.
I am in lace and blue embroidery, Virgin to Whore,
Sophia tells Eve all the secrets of the cursed Garden
how an Archon of Wisdom and Angel of Conception fell
Mother became Monster, and I hold her hand as tremble
spill of tears sully an ivory gown, Night Howler hair
writhes out like snakes, and sometimes her skin poisons
me into fevered stupor, but our lips lock in desperation
both prisoners of the Devil but his masters all the same
to be woman and myth and exiled from grace means shadows
of Eden will draw spine-tingles from desert dreams, she
tests me, rests me, confesses to me, she is ablution,
corruption, my Terpsichore, my one vision of moon maiden
and we dance in a grove in Hell that is sick with roses
bend and turn until we are oblivion, Maiden and Mistress
her beneficence flows in equal measure with her cruelty
and when the orchestra in the reeds hums evening down
we embrace and thirst after tongues and poisoned saliva
I drink her milk and know the sweetness of Styx waters
Lilith is conundrum, the Source, the Deep, the Omega of
all men’s temptations, but she is my sister, so we fly
through Sephiroth up to the outer boundaries and nest
as Zu birds in a cradle in the branches, prey and hunter
find balance as Paradise’s breeze sways our dreams aloft
I am lost in the Queen of Hell, and her lap is my altar
I will praise her and curse her, and when she soars away
I will rage, I will rage, I will rage.
Your hair is the color of fire, red earth, warmth
I go swimming in your eyes and float in salt tears
buoyant and ballistic as a missile for your heart –
Can’t you see I’m deadly, not at ease in your arms?
Do you know the deserts I would walk to find you?
How many poets I would kill to have enough verses
to capture your somber beauty, your emerald irises?
A song in Hebrew plucked on autumnal acoustics, old
hickory guitar in your hand polished to reflect All.
You sing to me and we dance and circle like planets
I Venus, you Mars, and you are the solar eclipse to
my moon, I’m scorching hot, burning up, you ruddy
clay and dust and traces of mineral water unquenched
no wonder when we kiss I taste ash and stale nests
for I burnt down the cradle you made and flew away
you carry my childhood in your heart, but I abandon
all semblance of dependence, wingless fledgling, my
flight is just falling, only a crash of blood, and
you were never good at letting go, so we hold on…
And on, and on.
I could see us lassoing stars and chasing comets
but if I fell into the thermals of dark matter
you wouldn’t catch me, just let me dissolve
into a void unknowable, with only my want as
a candle, and you my starman would rain light
as a burning fire on me – I would be in Hell.
The yeoman’s wife knew her love belonged to the soil
the huntsman’s handmaid saw his heart in the stags
the falconer’s mistress charted his dreams on a gyre
and women know our men are not ours, but the road’s.