ode to flea market strapless
after alexander li
before we knew not to spill our new faces
into the streets where the children flock like
feathers starved for a match. before the burning
in all our homes stayed inside our bodies
where our lifetimes chatter – stag goddess, train-
spotter, upright-bass player. the way it
sounds like a bad joke, how one minute there’s three
of us laughing at the bar & the next dad’s hands
done with this, with me, turn on himself & fire twice.
before your kiss, now every black-blue meteor
falling from my mouth. before red satin everywhere.
before i had faith in another faith. where jesus
is a redhead & kisses like death. hucks stones
into the river until one flies & never stops. this
he’ll christen with lightning before the prayer b/c
nowadays how do you find beauty in ordinary things
without something sharp. before strapless.
before wild thing. o, how small you were
to make these crooked arms into the river shadow.
into goddess of rusted pipe. into ripped satin glory.
into slow crawl of water melting stone in the forest.
into lullaby my arched waist. into glory through
split face. into glory. where are you now, o wild thing.
into glory. where are you now when i need you most.