Second Annual Symposium of Indignity
The lobster with its boiled glow knows
nothing of the hostess by its tank. Her
first grey caught in lip gloss as she shows
a schizophrenic to his usual booth. She's
twice divorced, cavorting with a chef
who harbours syphilis, or was it Lymes? A tick
caught in the elastic of his Calvin Kleins.
There's a ghost in the Ladies’ room – Thai
businessman with bullet holes for buttons.
Still the hallways smell of sulfur, servers
lose their footing at the stairs where once
sat prisoners of turf wars. Such are the hazards
of old buildings. The hostess fingers her
splintered podium, a hickey hidden
in the tangle of her multi-coloured fish scarf.
How Gods Go On The Road
at a Super 8 somewhere between Kentucky
and the cornfields she's afraid to enter.
She's thirty again. Spends her birthday burning
sage, rearranges history with the lifting
of a little toe, composes wars while singing
in the shower – Viper's Drag, Honey Dipper,
She's the Lady with the Fan. Tan as deep
as tamarind. Whatever secrets she's received,
what talents, doors as wide as steak knives open
on a nebula she knows she'll one day enter.
Weather will not touch her, nor the sounds
of schoolboys in their march to physics. They
won't fix this hole. Alive too many lifetimes
to believe in cures, she passes decades with the gait
of Tolstoy heroines. However deep she cuts,
it is the blade that bleeds. Her skin like water,
holds no form, but folds, and folds, and follows
numbly through the hours of a day.