From Blues for Unemployed Secret Police

MADONNA


That day I rang the wrong bell

you answered the door bare breasted,

boa constrictor around your neck.

You thought I was the postman.

He was such a sad man, you said,

you put a little yeast in his mojo.


Come back, you said.

I brought you bouquets of iron roses,

a carved walnut stock for your mauser,

you sewed me a pair of eelskin pants, ah!

candlelit nights in your glass tub.

How you sang in that red satin bed,

your hair a corona of black fire.


Our love outlived the boa who died

from the frozen mice.


But then you started with the tarantulas,

producing them in the palm of your hand at parties,

trying to scare tenured professors to death,

bats brought back from Mexico on the Harley,

your hair an obsidian flame behind you.

After the incident with the blow darts, I left.


I joined the Sons of Odin,

razors and horned helmets, always on the move.

I light candles for you

at every roadside shrine between Tucson and Nogales.

Now by the river, my feet in red water,

a salamander curls around a plaster Madonna

like a sable stole. I feel your presence.

I say, it’s a damn shame love is.

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