She came. Matilda Manuego Francesca. She, in all her verisimilitude and saving face. She came, and be-came. And we sat doing crosswords deep into the pelvic night.
We lingered in death by chocolate and erotic reality shows, laughing like idiots at the idiots displayed. "Idiots!" Yes. "I used to claw after idiots," she'd confess.
Manuela—my Mother. Not nearly...
Looking down into the Grand Canyon now.
My legs are scared.
Mine are bared now.
And crossing everything off our to-do list.
I'll be sacred
and I'll be urging;
on the double
and on the dot.
And we vanished like that and she came back pissed.
Left arcade, left river, left Gowanus, left Astoria—when you
first came to New York you called it "Aortica," not "Astoria,"
and you swore I was a first-rate idiom, and I punished you by
drowning your toes in the river; they came out all wrinkled and
the only way to warm you back was to put seventeen microwaves
side-by-side in the center of my studio, find outlets for each,
and turn them high with you lying atop the juiced metallica,
like some sort of nuclear acupuncture, curing you slowly, like
all of Japan being soothed in a radioactive glimmer, a dry glaze
after typhoons of consequence, all of your worries conducted away.
reading depressing Japanese novellas. That one, but I couldn't.
I began and nodded until some sort of plot intruded. Hot on the
fringes but cold in the middle. A toaster was set on your gut.
Love, can I tell you of my disappointments? No, I shouldn't
but I must. I have always wanted to participate, be brightening,
in a very abstracted hip way. And once I thought they would
let me but no they never. That is why I straddle your grandmother's
bureau, the antique one I removed from the attic along with your father's
alt-magazines from the '70s. A rictus on my face yet forlornly crying.
Your shimmering gaze, glare, staring back at me from some
unlimited cave, the kind Etruscans hid inside to escape
the tentacles of sight, conduct affairs, engage in forbidden
physics, politics, religions...thinking their atomic waves mere chaos,
but, like departed stars so many light years off, we now can wrangle
an image, even if quivering: liberated infrared glances
off a shoulder blade as they made love or mathematical proof.
And you place a frozen burrito on your waist to demonstrate
this truth...so many ablutions in this electromagnetic multiverse,
so many sopranos in Steve Reich's songscape, singing
to be shot in Bowery halls or Bushwick lofts,
so many burnt-over poses bugged in crepuscular motives,
burgeoning from your hand-me-down vanity
in ablative absolutes.