FOUR THEORIES ON WHY GOD
SINKS HIS HEAD IN MY SPAGHETTI
Jazz is the dishcloth that swipes
grease from the counter. Sometimes
I sing hymns for the salt in Satan's
eyes. It is all very informal. According
to the medium next door my house
in Gilscarbo Drive is the reincarnation
of Charlotte Corday who, in her time,
liked to enter bathrooms unannounced.
Even then, he admired her ankles.
A diploma in Psychology hangs
behind the kitchen door, summa cum
laude written in bold letters.
fake, of course. I've never confessed
a part of my secret life to priests. His eyes
through spaghetti whorls murmur:
dark brown, sometimes blue; on clear
days, chartreuse like my father's pond
before the last inch of water was drained.
Perhaps I will break down, place
a crank call to Mother Faustine.
Perhaps I'll let Him watch me undress.
Al dente is an alien spaceship;
I've never been abducted while gazing
through another man's telescope.
My white plates are hexagonal and easily
identifiable with a well-lit halo. Gossip
among field researchers goes:
He has never learned how to land
on his feet. I have a soft spot for him
and it's not between my legs or breasts.
My husband makes the meat sauce:
it is a slow simmer of spices, fresh
tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil. I chew
everything carefully. Before creating light,
He was obsessed with the smells
wafting from the gates of Hell: no one
invited him to private dinners. An exorcist
from Sydney advises garlic, perhaps
a peace meeting with Lucifer
who still strums the blues from
my Volvo's glove compartment. I am
tired of asking if they are comfortable.
FOR 3A.M. WOMEN
i'll play bartok
on the piano with missing
like milk teeth
bartered for coins in dreams
are you looking
for under table legs -- fallen
glass opossums with lopped
there are no
answers to finding sleep
no point adding
a question mark here or
down the page
after would you like a butterfly
on your navel
for luck for soul for deja vu
in time i'll stop
& you'll drift away like dead
in a bowl, chipped like her teeth,
she speaks of paper lanterns.
The strawberry on her cheek
is the leaf that fell
one summer against her bare arm,
the train she missed jogging home.
Like sawdust moths haloing
a flame, her voice rouses the tabby
under the wheelchair. This is how
a bulb shines through shade: a book
opens, the sheets flung from the bed,
a flapping red cape disappears around
the corner. The future is
on everyone's tongue, unfurling
tobacco leaves when the cigar
is cut open, dissected like a beetle
after someone lights the tip.
Too late. It is already in the air.
Arlene Ang 2005