Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Melissa Jones Fiori, "Manifesto"

I could grow wings and use them to scoop sherbet from the sky.
I could shellac the cat and eat radishes only. I can eat my own life
and spit you out as the pit. From the leaves that fall before turning
I can distill elixirs of my disregard: something for you to drink while waiting
for the eyes of my dream to open.

I am cotton lace, loose from long service under a centerpiece. You chewed me
twenty-two times before swallowing. I have stood on the doorsill and blushed
at your temerity—that was where the earthquake found me. I will not end up
in the arms of hacks and history. If I tried, I could catch
your breath.

I will learn to do the backstroke with severed hands, jack-knifing
out of each embrace. Because dreaming is my life's work, I will weave dung
and mercury into this sweater. Wear it and then tell the world, "Look,
she loves me." I have been so many places besides here, but none of them seemed
to stick.

I can't hear you shouting because a small dog is howling in the kitchen. I stuff
my pockets full of candy, ready to be made millionaire, G-man, cosmonaut.
In my lush new life I will win at cards and refuse to share the wealth.
Fat and happy, like all good girls in all good fairytales. Sweetheart,
the dream has not yet ended.