When You Go to Mardi Gras with Anne Sexton

StationaryOccluded GS Proofs
“Stationary/Occluded (#21)” by Kimmy Quilin

In New Orleans you flash
your tits and call me chère.
You snake your way through
Bourbon Street as though
you are the parade. One of you
is pissing on the sidewalk,
another flinging beads from a float.
For fun you buy a set of crystal fangs
and sneak up to the Carter’s balcony.
You bring my wrist to your mouth–
the skin is thin and already scarred
there. You trace my veins with your
tongue and whisper: this is what
my god wants.

When I was 14, I recognized in you
the same black heart. The flash
and burn of a brain on fire. I wanted
to know how there could be more
than one of us. But now, dear
succubus, as I watch the blood rise
in your eyes, your pulse pull
against the cords of your neck,
I would give us back. To the concrete
and confetti. To the danger and
the flame. Blow out this candle,
you fucking wretched vampire,
I am already drained.

By Jen Rouse