Six Urban Love Songs
II. San Francisco
Pierced tongue. Do-it-yourself lisp.
What is this? Penitence? Native wisdom?
Mutilation? or signal: I'll do anything.
Was it a dare? or a careful plan? Did it sting—
or ache—and does the food get caught—
and should such a person work in a restaurant?
Customers' stomachs can turn—or does desire
turn to her—to wish—to feel the fire
glide over the silver (or is it gold?) pin?
And you, my darling, with your end-
less speculation: Is he—is she—gay?
Does he or she want you—or me—or
Why do you need to know? I am here.
This is my body; eat. Unwrap. Disappear.
The Laws of Falling Bodies, Story Line Press,
© 1997, co-winner of the 1997 Nicholas Roerich Prize.
Reprinted by permission of the author.