By: Daniel Grigg
Pray for me, pure Archipelago,
one holy catholic apostolic
& my good friend
come home from summer in Geneva
holding his new girlfriend’s hand.
He & she watch me
asking, Why are you standing
on the hysterical table? To which I say,
Why is that fucking helicopter
following me again?
It’s the only world I know;
again I’m not in my mind.
Tomorrow I will bleed three times
into three tubes & a laboratory
will detect all my pieces & antibodies.
Maybe the doctor will burn me,
notate my file.
Open a window in the roof
of my skull
& say, Scalpel.
High-risk sexual activity?
Calculate the rates &
chance of infection.
Palpate the lymph nodes.
Micro-tears & membranes.
She & he have sacramental love:
guarded small sex & space opera. He says
“I don’t think you’ve ever fallen from
I feel lube grease my tongue.
We walked the world as innocents
& why was God not there? God
who in his perversity & God
who never conceived he could be
Consider taking the iron
bed apart & putting it
back together again.
Consider my dream in which
Ronald Reagan is Daddy.
O Archipelago, in his trunk
I found the bones of Rock Hudson,
old purple Hollywood pal
who wasn’t such good meat at the end,
brittle & burlap, got eaten by HIV.
O Archipelago! Come outside!
The gay panic is here! New scourge
of the cities. Cross out the names.
Washed clean with blood
faster than transmission.
It’s about foreskins, Archipelago. Eyelids.
The eye torn wide & scoured
by all the sand of the desert,
desensitized. Blind to the touch
in the bedroom of Babylon.
Now we wait, Archipelago.
Is this a fever? List of symptoms
Which is to say, the brain
does not know the foot is gone.