6.02 / February 2011

Two Poems

True Crime

This story was almost lost in a muddy culvert.  We found a rip in the underbelly, dug around with our grim hands.  We touched it.  Blue breath, a snapshot of the autopsy.  Three clusters of scars across the thigh of an endangered woman.  Can you feel the punch of stones beneath her body?  Her terror of gray-green boys, of leather and tumbleweeds?  It’s the undoing that makes it real.  The repetition.  This is the magic we use to call out the bullet from a locked pistol.  You acknowledge the pockmarks in her skin, the hymn of the waiting road.  The bestial gland in the rogue brain.  The sitting hellhound.  The basement.  You imagine a jar of unmentionable things buried behind the wall, or a chain wrapped around a bruised and fragile wrist.  It’s about how you love the fallen, the deviant biography. How you love the terrible doctor with the glove in his fist.

Endgame or When You Love the Villain

Sometime you write the villain as your random computation and you lie kidney-curled around his vicious wiring, his beautiful shell.  You might siphon a drop of oil from his eye and call him my beloved golem. You are holding the rifle key, the map of his electric capillaries.  You will program him to eat your more annoying coworkers or to annihilate dark-haired women named Carrie or Beth because it suits you.  He tells you these victims taste like almonds and calls you a dangerous curve, a hematoma that spreads in the shape of long-lost continents.  You question his capacity for evil when you kiss his bleeding zipper.  If you too were made of metal, you might keep him under your carapace, but something impervious needs to carry out your sentences.  You hidden minx.  You are passing through his cold fleshless mouth a perfect thread, a circular murder. This must end badly or at least be ambiguous.  Expect the requisite sequel.

Susan Slaviero is the author of CYBORGIA, a full-length collection of poems available from Mayapple Press. Her work has appeared in RHINO, Flyway, Goblin Fruit, Oyez Review, Artifice Magazine and elsewhere. She designs and edits blossombones, an online literary journal and is a cast member of The Chicago Poetry Brothel.
6.02 / February 2011