Beast // Never Been I stiletto girl / flip my hair & wink girl / lace & French manicure girl / hand job for the Lobster Thermidor girl / cherries in my drink girl / People Magazine girl / other cheek girl / hold my breath girl / suck in my stomach girl / hold my hand girl / hold my hand cuz I’m scared girl / scared girl / scared of this mouth or this knuckle or this gun or death or you or anything girl II Anointed deified pampered blessed cherished coddled sanctified hallowed forgiven. Never wanted that, anyhow. III to the moon or to the deep end of City Pool or to my mama’s mama’s grave or to Lebanon or to Glasgow or to culinary arts school or to prison or to the Guggenheim or to my first husband’s funeral or to my mama’s funeral or to my rapist(s) funeral(s) or to my first love who tried to cut a gash in my throat but instead I laughed in his face’s funeral or to hell IV Boiled. De-beaked. Plucked. Skinned. Ground. Starved. Branded. Hooked. Drowned. Electrified. Immolated. Gorged. Gagged. Clubbed. Gassed. Bolted. Exsanguinated. Fried. Basted. Battered. V Buried.
Secret Written from inside a Piranha’s Mouth*† He prefers winter. Prefers cabernet. Steak. Blondes. Prefers ass. Fake nails and glossy lips. Juicy. Stilettos. Prefers silence. And Comedy Central. IPAs. American football. Prefers bareback. Under 30. Commando. Prefers I know his preferences. Prefers not to be bothered with mine. Prefers I keep things quiet. Keep things to myself. Sinks his teeth and shreds. Prefers the spotlight be his alone. Dims the room and all the people in it. Prefers his teeth sharp. Prefers a little blood in his soup. ___________________________________________ * Piranhas are omnivorous freshwater fish with powerful jaws and serrated teeth known to dilacerate prey. † Piranhas practice cannibalism under extreme conditions.
The Most Dangerous Game
“Best sport in the world.” “For the hunter.” —Richard Connell When he tells you about Joani, you cringe. Her dragging eyelids and thirst for bullets. How she did it in front of him. You come to understand his contempt for women. Appetite for skin. Amanda full of pills. Nikki emptied at the wrist. Christa gassed in a Ford Explorer. // Later, in the courtroom, you are asked to reenact: Hold the knife the way he held it. Say the words the way he spoke. Years pass. He makes parole. Police suggest you move away. Instead, you brush your hair, find your best dress. Lock up the knives. Open each window.
This poem borrows its title and epigraph from the short story by Richard Connell (Collier’s, 1924).