April 1, 2017 orangeq2017

handgun discourse on beauty before my mirror

sam sax

 

how terrible to say nothing

like an old woman undressing

—james l. white.

 

instruction:       first remove the bows,

the brooches, and gold pins.

all that gleaming ornamentation

that tells others this body

is still full of life.

 

interior:            to be just canvas again

skin impersonating a wrinkled suit.

 

girl you’re meat in a butcher’s window

girl you’ve got sneakers hanging across your tongue

 

instruction:       next the cloth

the zippers and buttons

unlocking in your hands

watch these fall to the floor

a head writhing with snakes.

 

interior:            to be just skin again

adorned in an orphanage of scars

 

girl you smell like a tea kettle moaning

girl let me hyphenate your birth name

 

instruction:       the wig is the last to go.

a hooked finger fit between scalp and sweat

freeing the skull like a birdhouse under

the weight of a polished steel shovel.

 

interior:            my bruises grow like ripe tomatoes

my shoes reveal a bed of dancing worms

 

 

it is always high noon in my bedroom

faced off before the mirror

 

the man looks nothing like me.

in my eyes i am a wrinkled old thing.

 

pistols naked at our waists

the clock strikes like a match

he aims at my neck.

says,

 

girl i came here to paint your walls red

and you look best dressed in silence.

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