I beat her & shame her.
I ravage her in all the bad ways I can fantasize,
to leave her in torment & tears.
& still she calls me beautiful –
this hideous affair; she calls it beautiful.
her pretty face. that vague smile, as if she’s too pretty for me.
maybe the reason we don’t go out in public. but underneath
it all, she’s dirty. dirty in the things she avows. her naked
industry: random mortal sins in the small spaces of midnight.
I push the limits in the ways I humiliate her. tell her to leave her
panties home when she goes to town in that short skirt. make
her keep the wet residue of her last blowjob on her face till it
dries hard, & she has to peel it off like scabs. accuse her of
running off to other lovers. lovers for a whore.
so she reads my poem, my poem that is perfidiously the false
image of a poem, & she calls it beautiful. & amazing.
like me, she says.
yet I call her a whore, I tell her to run away to that place by the
ocean that she dreams of. no, she says, in her sincere way.
because she loves me, & she will drag me all the way to forever,
if I can keep up.
I’ve heard 60mm shells drop, thought hard about taking a bullet,
laid there sick & alone in the dark, couldn’t find a bottle when I
needed it –
but I never crossed trails with anything as dangerous as a woman…
(Art: Josef Breitenbach)