Die on Mars
In the steam of a Hampton’s night,
when humidity clings like a silk slip to the windshield
I joy ride Elon’s Tesla.
The roads at the end of Suffolk County
are not paper doll flat
but curved like a witch’s spine
and the Tesla hugs them in a midnight tango.
Someday the Boring Company, will build tunnels—
a silent boring and only Teslas will be licensed
to motor the underground and pop up in Connecticut.
There will be extra lanes and traffic
jams will not be allowed— car Camelot.
But for now,
with the stars in Space X as my navigators
I only drive when most of the world
sleeps. It is not the man in the wolf moon
that romances me but the faceless
astronaut in a musky red Tesla
grooving to dead David Bowie
on his way to Mars.
Bobsie Showed Me How to Insert a Tampax
Her father was the head of psychiatry at Pilgrim State
he approved lobotomies while he ordered lunch
She shouted out directions to me
through the closed bathroom door
When the tampax slid in, and stayed in place
it was a summer vacation victory
Never again did I have to smell dried blood
in my kotexed soaked underwear
Bobsie was a college girl
the next summer she came home with a baby
She never told me how she got that baby
but she did show me how to insert a thermometer
to measure ovulation
My first birth control
Sorry, Not Sorry
Define muscle memory—
Expect a beating
List the things in your medicine cabinet:
Advil, betadine cream, peroxide
ace bandages, Xanax.
Body, I am sorry for the damage done,
the bruise tattoos, the broken things
that cannot be fixed.
Mea Culpa, I beat my chest
savaged by bites and burns.
Do you like being a martyr?
The question my therapist asks me.
Sometimes I stain her checks with my blood.
How do you plead?
Innocent in the court of popular opinion.
Define muscle memory—
My hands remember what to do with a gun.
What I Am Thankful For
Thank you for not killing me. Black and blue turns a rainbow of gangrenous greens.
And thank me for not killing you. A house without a gun does not a crime scene make.
Thank movie theaters and their darkness—cinematic religion; the popcorn, my communion
wafers and thanks to my car, a safe spot for screaming. Thank the makers of Xanax and thank Death for taking you sooner than later.
the insurance check in the front pocket of her tight jeans,
took the car that didn’t melt, that was hot, but started.
She scooped up her daughter and her daughter’s bunny—
charred on one side, black and pink.
The house is the burning end of a cigarette. She floors
the ignition, the night smells of fire. She does not believe
she will ever lose that smell, it has nested in her hair,
her nostrils, her sinus, even her daughter smells like fire.
The insurance check is a fire in her pocket.
She has never seen that much money in a check
made out to her. He is coming around tomorrow to reclaim
the check. She will shower after she puts one hundred miles
between her and her destruction. She will stop driving
when she quits smoking, dye her hair and her daughter’s
pink like the bunny.
Waiting for my Xanax Script to be Filled
Parked in the CVS lot
in unairconditioned July
I fold into the steering wheel and scream
A priest appears at my window
asks if I’m alright
yes, I’m good
I sit up and put my hands at ten and two
He disappears into a cloud
and I start keening
but this time with the radio on
He would have bought me bottled water
a pack of chewing gum
rode shotgun without a seat belt
prayed for my lost soul
if I had unloaded my shit to him
A for effort Padre
you trusted my good
I forgive you for believing me
You are to eat matzah
Biblical broadsheet —
unleavened flat piece of dough lacking the pride of rising,
humble puckered squares nourish this non-religious life.
Cottage cheese and cling peaches on your flat skin
(my mother eats this religiously for lunch) the only food
I keep down after a ride on the virus roller coaster.
No matzah brie for I-matzah purist-shredded mozzarella,
generic tomato sauce slathered on your body, toaster-oven
baked, after school comfort.
My lover places a matzah
with cheese and pepperoni on my belly après sex
he declares himself a Portnoy without complaint.
Egg Matzah, exclusive to Passover should only be eaten
by the elderly, the infirm and children. With a childish glee
I hoard this eggy hardness and eat it year-round.
Once in a California supermarket
I asked a bagger where I could find matzah,
he told me they don’t carry Jew food.
I am preparing for the day
when matzah will be shaped into communion
wafers, hidden in catacombs swallowed fast.