In India they have incinerators
Right there in the graveyard.
It’s not your first drink, eh?
You have watermelon fingernails
I love watermelon.
You should smell like watermelon.
Spread that shit around like joy itself.
I went to my first funeral today
The wake and the funeral were together.
The world is fighting too much.
That’s going to create fear in your heart.
I trust in
Fear in your heart
They create it to control people.
But you’re great just the way you are.
I’m so mad, yah.
So wait, you do autopsies?
Oh no, embalming
The make up, drain the blood
Break the bones back into place
Bsh, Bsh, cheekbones.
Can you use your feet?
The feet are not as agile and accurate
Depends – you can practice.
This ain’t martial arts.
So, you need beautician skills
Science and strength
I been strong.
Can you cut hair?
I cut this bang
Yeah, it’s really straight.
Practice on your fiancé?
He don’t have no hair.
Whats a Caesar? Like that guy over there?
You mean like Will Smith?
Fresh Prince had a high top.
This is called a wig.
My hair is underneath!
I’m so serious…
You cut it?
It’s not gunna come back.
You can’t change it now.
The bruise he left on the back of my arm
looks like the combustion of a star.
The purple spreads into blue
and green – creeping under
I am the universe and a nebula
has been left by the hand of a lover.
I never tell him to stop
when he buries his thumb into the softer parts
of my thigh; when he drives
his teeth into my shoulder.
He explodes all my stars
into colors my girlfriends glance at – looking
sideways from beneath furrowed brows.
When he tries to push us both into that place
where neither of us exist
yet both of us become that one point of light
the rest revolves around,
I never tell him to stop.
The ceramic plate feels
Like the garden section of Home Depot.
The only place good wives feel safe:
Meekly picking plastic pots of petunias
Their husbands won’t notice right away.
On the plate, etched and glazed:
Jesus Loves you,
But I’m His Favorite.
Placed above the bed they defile
On the wall her moans seep through.
Sometimes, she hopes her moans will knock
The pushpin out;
Shatter how much more Jesus will still love him.
How because of Him, she will never pick petunias,
Never bring them home.
How in spite of Jesus
She can lie and stare at that woman’s ceramic plate
While his toes curl
And the flowers on the windowsill
As the drum beat out the rhythm of my own heart,
I understood the universe;
Felt it tapping its foot with me.
The violin cried out all the untimely deaths
The eight funerals I had gone to
In the same black skirt.
Eight before I was even sixteen.
As the cello wept,
I understood the tears
That had been pent up
Blocked by shock like each individual stick
That builds a beaver dam.
As the pick drew out a melancholy chord,
I saw all of the broken hearts and broken toys
When my first boy broke my dolly
Shoved sand in my face
When my last boy simply
Shut the door.
I felt it all as he sang the lyrics he had written
Alone in his room at 3 am
The only sound was the pen scratches
But his head was full of noise, of music.
In a moment my life contained my entire life.