The Doppelganger's John Wayne
In his one yellow dress, John Wayne
approximates the Mojave.
Swift to sear, but slow to blow
the candles out, his grit scours
the tongue in the sweat lodge of my mouth.
Like a cactus, he pricks
to protect the water inside.
He squints and testifies.
He leans against the unblinking sun
for support. I stare and go, go, go
blind as the Joshua tree. One deep
breath from his solar plexus
is the nexus of excess.
His Western-wear and diamond-backed
fingers rattle through my Palm Springs.
After all, poison is as poison does.
Between sunsets, he medicates and breeds.
Like the good and the ugly, I pray
to my predators. I start the pilgrimage by rolling
up the cuffs on my khakis. Bare-ankled
through the Eden of sagebrush, I'm bitten by the mirage
of this marriage. At high noon, I lie down with his body
and make an angel in the sand of his death valley.
Love Letter as Prosthetic or Personal Flotation Device
Dear Special Effects, the blue screen of free will permits the anomaly of an us. I could be dead or you could be Tina. In the editing bay, you score my life with prosthetic meaning. Underexposed and overbudget, we invest in the symbolism of shadows. Now splice here—an inch below the love line. I'll wink and tell you it's all too real: your cheeks thumbworn and f-stopped. O—, the aperture of your lips opening, opening, opening. I only wish I'd framed you with more original sin.