Artifice Joy

This set, where the young lover lived,

a cozy apartment above Chinese take-out

and boutiques and a distant, false,

Greenwich Village street.

I sit here, on the bed, the set dresser’s

idea of what a young woman’s bric-a-brac

would be, as the century burns out, exhausted.

I smoke French cigarettes. I dream of her.

The young lover, the actress refined, sharp,

in fine clothes and soft, consuming white furs,

the warmth swallows you into sleep, dreams

of what you hide behind your bed.

The fur hat, Russian Grand Duchess of a

strongman’s age, 22 is made for serpent kisses,

and she is soft and timeless as alabaster statue

in ruins on the street in Alexandria.

I am not a Christian; I’d have to be human first,

and I put the sigil under the bed for when the

young lover and the handsome lead have their

love scene, to mainline the glamour, artifice joy.

I dream of her, make her face into an angel’s laughter,

or a distant, beatific restlessness as I sleep in this bed,

home being where The Devil is waiting for me, and I know,

if he offered the chance to be her, I’d take it. I’d take it.

Where does one get French cigarettes at 2 a.m., in London,

when the angel’s are all stuck hustling tricks by Picadilly Circus,

and I have to slice off the instrument of hate, to be whole,

to not spread tears. Her tears would heal me. Fucking shakes!

The Devil is waiting for me, and I know if her offered the

chance to be her, I’d take it. I’d take it.

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