Although the genie is a slave,
there is also a slave belongs to the genie.

Crack open the guts
of a pomegranate: it is a mine — go down.

Diamonds, emeralds, sundry other gems:
bring out of them

silver green leaves from cabbages,
dust from a battered butterfly’s wings.

Bend to the earth: look closer.
Keep the ribbon of air between your lips

fresh and tart so the words
burn just a little, then you can’t sleep.

Not want but must for you.
Not may but must, not wish, must.

Drudgery among wild violets:
de-tick white doves, use more bleach in the toilet.

No time off from ladders of finicky silver,
carry the sack of her kiss back home with you.

No, the wolves are not your friends.
The end with the waves, no end for you.

Conventional bric-a-brac of bourgeois affairs,
limp sentiments of the innocent —

you can have those, if it pleases.
Toil a whole life for such bon-bons, such dregs.

Closing across the bay, music from floating parties
washes and booms: you have a coil

of darkness and silence to wind,
don’t wait up, I may not be back tonight.

Steal a love letter from our Master?
Hide in an almond shell, bloat in a pool,

pore over the elegant, perfumed lies,
dream of Dolores or Hank,

orgasms fashioned from craft and champagne,
to be a cunning fool, lost in fake happiness!

Stairs of pearl to the alley, back of the restaurant:
smoke with the sous-chef, listen

to the city grind and sigh.
At the heart of the clouds, where the little girl sings

polish the molecules,
get them to shine more, shine, no, more yet.

I have made your blood ink, tonight,
crushed black for a new venture I have in mind:

loneliness where our Mistress dances,
hours holding her coat, together,

near as we ever get.

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