Love me like a wrong turn on a bad road late at night, with no
moon and no town anywhere
and a large hungry animal moving heavily through the brush in
Love me with a blindfold over your eyes and the sound of rusty
blurting from the faucet in the kitchen, leaking down through
the floorboards to hot cement. Do it without asking,
without wondering or thinking anything, while the machinery’s
shut down and the watchman’s slumped asleep before his small TV
showing the empty garage, the deserted hallways, while the thieves
the fence with steel clippers. Love me when you can’t find
a decent restaurant open anywhere, when you’re alone in a glaring
with two nuns arguing in the back booth, when your eggs are
and your hash browns underdone. Snick the buttons off the front
of my dress
and toss them one by one into the pond where carp lurk just
beneath the surface,
their cold fins waving. Love me on the hood of a truck no one’s
in years, sunk to its fenders in weeds and dead sunflowers;
and in the lilies, your mouth on my white throat, while turtles
their bellies through slick mud, through the footprints of coots and
Do it when no one’s looking, when the riots begin and the planes
when the bus leaps the curb and the driver hits the brakes and the
pedal sinks to the floor,
while someone hurls a plate against the wall and picks up another,
love me like a freezing shot of vodka, like pure agave, love me
when you’re lonely, when we’re both too tired to speak, when you
in anything, listen, there isn’t anything, it doesn’t matter; lie down
with me and close your eyes, the road curves here, I’m cranking up
and we’re going, we won’t turn back as long as you love me,
as long as you keep on doing it exactly like that.
When I walk in,
men buy me drinks before I even reach the bar.
They fall in love with me after one night,
even if we never touch.
I tell you I’ve got this shit down to a science.
They sweat with my memory,
alone in cheap rooms they listen
to moans through the wall
and wonder if that’s me,
letting out a scream as the train whines by.
But I’m already two states away, lying with a boy
I let drink rain from the pulse at my throat.
No one leaves me, I’m the one that chooses.
I show up like money on the sidewalk.
Listen, baby. Those are my high heels dangling from the
I’m the crow flapping down,
that’s my back slip
you catch sight of when the pain
twists into you so deep
you have to close your eyes and weep like a goddamned
That Mississippi chicken shack.
That initial-scarred tabletop,
that tiny little dance floor to the left of the band.
That kiosk at the mall selling caramels and kitsch.
That tollbooth with its white-plastic-gloved worker
handing you your change.
That phone booth with the receiver ripped out.
That dressing room in the fetish boutique,
those curtains and mirrors.
That funhouse, that horror, that soundtrack of screams.
That putti-filled heaven raining gilt from the ceiling.
That haven for truckers, that bottomless cup.
That biome. That wilderness preserve.
That landing strip with no runway lights
where you are aiming your plane,
imagining a voice in the tower,
imagining a tower.
What Do Women Want?
I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.