This case was not about a penis. –Lisa Kemler, defense attorney
The fantasy was a little blot
on your cornea, indelible red
in the morning mush bowl.
Where did it come from? Surely not
your own impossible head,
always burning & yet whole.
Did you visualize it after—not the act
(blood is old hat for women), but his
orphaned scrap—soft folds luminescent
with moon & waiting in a field
purpled with night, the itch & prick
of grass conjuring a ghost of heat as nerves
try to stir beneath a canopy of ravenous gnats.
Theatrically oversized in daylight:
the ragged-edged shadow it threw
as it was plucked from the ground
& held up like a muddy diamond
dug from the pit the policemen
had all imagined themselves into.
The next day, simple gore of another dawn—
the sun’s cruel hush of white like a blanket
on the smoldering pink. What did they want you to say?
The too-human slump of the fatly oblivious
clouds cast a reminder: god is already stuffed
with regrets. Maybe, with the little morsel
in your hand, you still felt him on top of you.
After an ordeal, panic congeals
at the back of the tongue. Almost sweet
in the morning, you can spread it
like jam across your toast. This I know.
Lorena, I can’t say I haven’t wanted to.
There was a time when I fell asleep
sucking on prayer like a kerosene lozenge
each night. But in bed I didn’t dare
swallow or unhinge my flaming jaw before God,
who must have finally said to you:
metaphor will not do.