I Am a Receptionist Who Is Not Afraid of Death
Your balls release their last mediocre fruits
across the torso of a corpse
who loves you It feels so good,
being loved. It is your favorite feeling.
You want to feel it all the time.
Do white worms dance on the necrophiliac’s grave?
you asked your mother when you were five.
Yes, white worms dance
on the necrophiliac’s grave and the graves of all
who defile. You have a wolf’s jaw
and stretch the muscles of your face back to prove it.
Inside the sheep’s clothing is a sheep.
Somehow I’ve ended up
at the mall again, with a plastic bag
over my head, whispering the Lord’s prayer
to every bench and fountain. Come back, I say
to the water disappearing down a hole. And it does—
it drips from the cherub’s stony baby-dick.
I do not want your khaki-colored extremities
brushing against me
in the back of this gilded, lonely bar.
in women’s clothing, your fluted collar
stained with blood, it’s another shipwrecked
Friday night. I’m the one
in the crotchless pantyhose, crossing
and uncrossing the road. I’m the question
mark left hanging in the air
like a malodorous wind from a raisin-hole.
A confession of sorts I’m giving
off like musk: I do not want your finger
ringed in gold and spider-soft
upon my thigh. In college I worked a lot
of odd jobs and not for this. I liked to pull the lever
on the industrial strength dishwasher
which doubled as my vanity
mirror. I was beautiful then, still free of your ghost,
and rich as the day is long.
The villagers are reading hot guts
and drinking tonics. I’m relaxing
on a rock, sunning my midsection,
my delicate white legs.
The palm trees stand stiff
in the wind, archaic, shyly optimistic,
foreign. A Cuban boy
presents me with a muffin.
My hair blows this way
and that, as if I’m the featured guest
in a music video from my childhood.
For every broken heart, one golf course.
Everything comes out even.
The birds call me by name, and while
I’m distracted, fish heap themselves
into my basket. And the loaves,
the loaves! They multiply.
BRIDGET LOWE's poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Best American Poetry, The New Republic, and elsewhere. Her first book will be out in early 2013 from Carnegie Mellon University Press. She lives in Kansas City.