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Carmen Gimenez Smith

 

SOFT POWER

 

I will say it base you understand

 

Crossing a bridge and a narratologist tells me about harbors.

This is before I know you navigate your car through a landscape

of bridges. I’ve got an inkling of your smell. With that,

I decide to do everything right, knowing the magnitude

of that task. This was prior to your mouth.

 

 

This is what I mean

 

Egoista is how to say selfish. Ego: the self. –Ista like pharmacist

or philanthropist— one that traffics in the self. Last night,

I couldn’t stop describing my flaws to you as serious

and possibly even fatal, but you darned every incision. 

 

Which is to say 

 

I can tell you everything that ever happened

because it’s already done. What about

what I am capable of? I’m afraid of the next day. 

 

And we

 

We area fascinating sum. We have been squared,

spliced, and negated. Our totals have been heaped

with words that don’t equal.

(That’s my hope talking,

making us the same container.)

 

It must be obvious

 

I am vain and conceited. I steal. When I am scared, I lie.

I love the water curtain of opiates. I’d abandon you

for the trifling. I cry foolishly when I am in love. Broken things

in love. I didn’t know love. I love like a -philia.

I give love wrongly. I give it with spite and for greed.

 

Is that so bad?

 

I stuffed the gag of duplicity in your mouth

and you bit into it. We were cruel probes.

We fixed the curtains

 

so dark would be ours for a time.

I saw you sleep

and so I saw you, purgatorial.

 

Forgive me, they were delicious

 

The windows are open. I speak through a fan

for the serration. I have a set of keys

to your house and to your car. I ride in your car

to the gas station with your money card.

I sit in your bedroom wrapped by your quilt.

I spill a circle of black ink, so not domestic,

and soak it with milk from your refrigerator,

and will be contrite and docile with you

and will leap at the sound of your god whistle.

 

 

 

MORTAL CRUSH

 

Wild girl of my nightmare,

the smell of morning patio

after all night wrestling bear-sized

infrequencies with no cigarettes

is what you are. My concrete boots,

my wet tomb. Regret is my new mode.

I am a thrilling lament:

Princess if you had loved me,

I wouldn’t have co-opted your shadow

as mine. I clean you with sand

and daylight to keep you from fretful

and sullen. In the world for a long time,

we’re each other’s sugar dose

and mark the night with static

blips to pretend at sisterly fidelity.

 

 


JUICY COUTURE

 

 

Make my clothes dripping,

and make them organ and smoke.

Make me an outfit with mutable bloom,

an envy magnet. Make

me a fabric that changes

the subject. Truss me like a bottle

filled with artificial blue or red

to suit my character, full of holes

to suggest suggestion. I’d like

transport but also love bucket

and disputed borders.

 

 

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