blackbirdonline journalSpring 2009  Vol. 8  No. 1
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          Dear Sir,
You make betrayal seem easy. So it was, you said once
                    and by way of demonstration,
          lifted the lid of your pocket compass and waited
for the frictionless bearing to find its direction. But,
                    what to say about inertia tonight, when
                              the house is dark, there are fruit flies
          in the sink and through the window, I am watching
                    the miles we biked through third world
countries, where bandits and a limited knowledge

          of the language were props
in our drama: you, always on the verge of some conversion,
                    like a dog with its head flung out the window
          on the freeway; me, always asking for directions,
shredding a red napkin on the Malecón in Puerto Vallarta.
                    One moment, I’m water from the deepest
                              oasis in your canteen; the next,
          I’m warm champagne slurped through a straw somewhere
                    south of Palm Springs, where you are building
a trebuchet to smash a luxury car on prime-time air space,

          because you wanted adventure,
and didn’t I give you suicide pacts and war games, rough sex
                    in airplanes, hummingbirds palpitating                                                           
          in the trees? You said, is that all, darling?                                                                 
These are the stories we invent when the North Star
                    turns out to be a Cold War satellite. So, tell me
                              this is rapture—the mind’s needle
          swinging toward the next summit. Tell me, dear Sir,
                    because the compass needle is shot and it’s
raining here. Please send a body bag.

          Sleepless tonight, I feel the magnet
behind my eyes, my mind tugging toward the pole of you.
                    Like the tongue that tests the metal bar
          of a meat freezer, I am learning the taste of my own blood.  end

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