Monday, April 23, 2012

Yusef Komunyakaa "Sorrow" from Neon Vernacular

She's on Main Street
lifting her yellow skirt.
Her perfume's a strange lucidity
or, more exactly, a pestilence.
She calls me her sweetheart,
her unlucky boy, her favorite ghost
in the looking glass.

   Suddenly
she has her tongue in my mouth.
I brace myself against her;
already bigger than life,
she puts her head together with God's
until her call sign breaks in
& sends fighters into the sky.

Gazing through grey wood slates
of the poorhouse, I see her in a valley
ablaze with hyacinth & atropine.
In a Paris cafe, self-exiled,
I glimpse her sipping expresso,
eyeing the front door,
leafing through a copy of The Tale
of the Devil's Fart.
                   I spot her again
in Rio playing a concertina
in a roadhouse. Just as I step of
a curb in Mission Viejo
I notice her in a red sports car,
gunning the engine. At midnight
she climbs into bed, smiling,
her weight no more than a clue.
The bedsprings begin a low moan.

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