The Climate These Days
Your earthquake eyes visit me like a subscription for jet fuel
and you wonder the Monarchs disappearing into powder,
how I can be so smoked near your oblong heart, lost
in your mango meadow. Every leaf seems submissive
to wildfire, and birds have gone lodged in their feathered
memories like Lorca’s tin-breasted moon. I’m disappearing
behind someone’s pack-a-day, candle bloom in a hurricane
forced to love the stranger for the way she waltzes
on my thoughts. I’m lungful of future, rolling belief
between my toes on a magazine beach. I find my next line
in a fog bank, sewn on the bias. Last month we were all rumor-
angry, and you were the full sleeve of my just lost pipe-
dream, a cashmere town worn goatless and left alphabetic.
I drink a glass of Once Optimistic every after-morning, and when
I touch the power of your tool, it cuts me into lengths. In
the mirror-tint sunglass of extinction I am to blame. Shards
explode like a kept guest in the barn of her train-destined
mind. Mine is the close-cinched city, burned-breath snapshot.
And your homelips ask who’s gassed the volume at the end
of the book we called education, a universe paragraphed
and ready to blow.
I like how you knew to accent the é,
your snakeskin jeans, high-heeled
and tripping the twenty-seven moons of Uranus.
Much can be said about the efficacy
of black padded bras blotting out the moon.
I imagine god in a confessional,
hearing our sins like fingernails
on a chalkboard, a didgeridoo, that hollow
bamboo bamboozling the very northern air,
extinguishing a candle in the deep
dark matter of the universe. The shape
of a flame is an argument against absinthe,
in absentia. Open the holy door, the fuck-
all envelope – the miracle
is yours alone, a smudge of foam,
a beggary of wine-smoke.
What gossip comes pre-stirred
only your mouth knows the full truth of.
Nudge nudge, wink wink.
I see what you did there. At midnight
the analog box is all noise and rabbit ears,
numbness and lust leaves us
doom-scrolling a menu of illnesses,
renders us bereft of stars. You say
you are riding bareback on a constellation,
and I say I buried rhinestones in the sea.
The devil in drag
is better than the devil you know,
who wears Birkenstocks,
doesn’t shave her darker places.
Did someone suggest Shavasana,
or are we lost in champagne? If I give you
a wishbone, please discuss
your pumice-stoned proclivity, your latest
bulldozer vanishing act.
What Strange Thing
Bidding has begun for my shadow, and my palmful
of Jumping Jesus weeds that spit seeds in your eye.
At the art show I want to pollinate desire, blow on
the fuzzy heads of dandelions amidst paintings
by Kahlo, Klimt, and Pollock. I need an omelette
with olive eyes, a red pepper mouth, sour cream
shaving cream slathered everywhere. In the dream
you covet my brown banana bow tie, my brown
bandana mask. In the dream the bride never knows who
she’ll marry: the corpse in the copse, or the backseat
driver. I like the way you dislocate your hip, click
your seatbelt, shove your knees into my back when we
drive to the store. Is that a worm in your glass, or is God
shaking the tequila sunrise? My shadow just bought
Warhol’s Chicken Noodle Soup, Frida’s eyebrows,
her subtle mustache. Where did I hide my Jones, my
Jesus, my popweed, my Kiss? Where do you keep
your pepper grinder in this age of crazy?***************************************
I Would Like to Do a Portrait of You
The earth is giving her girlfriend peanut butter pretzels
and they joke about how there’s always a rope
in opera, and how the museum got Picasso
when it really wanted Marie-Thérèse, his muse.
I choose not to look at earth’s secret message
until after the last bit of salt is washed down
with Cosmic Cranberry kombucha. The ink runs
invisible, stains the dove in the magic hat.
When words I’ve been searching for finally arrive
on my doorstep, I arrest them with apple muffins
and a smile, an appearance at my campaign rally.
I promise to pick up Persuasion along the way
but Overreact calls, explaining she’s lost her identity
and would I please negotiate with the character
witness, Outrageous, whose low-cut ball-
gown steals the show. Ostracize can take his ass
and shove it. Nights I get lost in that new dimension
everyone’s been talking about, but when I join in
no one says a word. I’m chased by dogs and men
with guns, but I’m so fast slamming the door they can’t
get a foot wedged in edgewise. On the other side, I
hear the dogs crying. Earth and her girlfriend burp
kombucha, and there is salt everywhere. We’re all lost,
says her girlfriend. Earth opens a bag of chips, cracks
a beer, gets out a map with dragons, sea monsters
and a unicorn in the margins. You are here’s
got a cigarette hole burned in the center of it. Sorry,
I tell the delivery guy, I don’t love you anymore.
I get that ghosts are a byproduct of fog and mirrors,
and in the end, the three of us find shards of glass
in the soil after fire. Wrapped in nothing from head to toe,
the muse appears with Pablo in tow, who tells us
Les bons artistes empruntent, les grands artistes volent,
and takes my last bit of salt.
Ronda Piszk Broatch, poet and photographer, author of Lake of Fallen Constellations, (MoonPath Press, 2015), Shedding Our Skins, (Finishing Line Press 2008), and Some Other Eden, (Finishing Line Press, 2005). rondabroatch.com