after a painting by Amanda Groves Kelley
You paint a crow in the middle of the table and think
to stick him with a fork. Something cruel: a shadow maybe,
or a rusting knuckle.
Creased with secrets as it is, the table cloth is surprised by nothing.
The peach-skinned man sits and melts: he has an angry inner sun
and has lost an arm to your running out of flesh tones.
The woman, she has the personality of a slit throat.
And yet her vagina smiles, exotic cunning ruby.
They sit limp as graveyard addicts,
wait for the dirt to turn and keep good company.
There, an empty plate and its indigestibles!
A fork so clean it can't be used.
The muse is out of the room.
They will sit there until the bird learns to love itself.
They will sit until the plate cracks and the fork makes good with pain.
Even the halfdead hold on to scarlet hope.
Sweetie, is there is scarlet on you pallet? It does us good to wonder where that man's
arm went. Is it with us, hidden like money
somewhere in the room? It is obvious he is done apologizing.
Soon they’ll roll a blunt and eat one another's eyes, eyes like
aborted angels or past-life genitals.
Some god's got her by the hair.
Yes, sit there with your marriageables, your private table collection.
We will bury you there.