Sous Rature


Amy King





I must be feeling better since I’m feeling
better, but you must prove
that these are not your words
written to me from under the midnight of Dahlia,
atop the sun of Copenhagen, Berlin’s marshes outlined
by the scent of Paris’ crepes and steeples—

The higher Spain in its bowels of utterance approaches …

I am North.  These little braids of wishes fall
around the carcass of serendipity we meant to spoon
from the belly of a lightning bolt,
Born the same year as me, and I mortgage that year,
live on eggs from backyard
chickens, cake from the day old bakery—

A funeral exhibits the art of remains:
Star-shaped bruises, the growing index finger,
your abandoned spleen,
nails & teeth that continue. 
We worship with
champagne in tea cups, tan by the mound
of organic azaleas,
swim in milky vodka, lean into our faded skins, & smoke.

I’ll tug as much breath from bosom-born verbiage
as God’s niece allows.
Once your Baltimore rises, we’ll move
below the Dakotas, through the Mexican streams
until we reach Tina Modotti’s door, stand apart, & knock. 





--for David Wojnarowicz

From the city’s gutters grow vines, from our wonder,
hairless creatures, blind, between our toes,
ants with bread that pass and the soil of a moth
left burning outlines along this apology’s wall.
I sketch my shadow falling and hope
such monuments sear as wise as beasts
that thrust hard with the weight they are,
the weight they push, their droughts and demons,
as one holds hard the other one’s hand:  we pound
and knead and bake the dollars that sweat procures,
asking who among us has finished themselves
until the death knell takes our fingers apart.
Those left will weep and there’ll be heaven
where none hung before, an inner lining of the soul’s
walls, and us to stand among each other and witness.