Red-Headed Corpse


"You pushed me, Deb, you pushed me," I say,
   to the red-headed corpse who begs an answer
she's banned in Cheltenham, banned from plays
   whose runs made her twirl, torque like a dancer
dead, dry bone, ribs cracked, earth smudges,
    grease, soot caked onto the derelict frame,
       once she could hit me like freckles & roses
"let me correct, recompense all your grudges,
    all you astounded by changing your name,
        all you inverted by striking your poses"

No, I tell the fearful mirror, myself skin
   & bone, brain smudged by understanding
the past I could never live in, get in,
   fly through the air w/ out crashing for landing
"I won't be corrected, cadaver'd by your Highness,
    (as though I'd accept such vulgar mandates,
        rivers you dry into spiders & dust),
won't lower my voice, to mirror your dryness,
    then or now, applying no band-aids,
       letting myself come up roughly, brown crust"

"Then why don't you shut the fuck up," I spat,
   splitting the Elkins Park air like an atom,
hitting the fifth you'd been taught to flat,
   from clowns who amused you, to nuns, to your Madams
why don't you shut the fuck up, it was,
   spit out in venom, from someone in pain,
      who you had been taught to subject to starvation
forgotten the Eros, forgotten the lust,
    just this mad prostitute cunt & a brain,
       all fugue-stated out in unnerved enervation