Monday, September 04, 2006

I Am In Love

I am in love
with a lobster clawed
bearded lady;
she takes treads the boards
4 times a day
between the sword swallower
and the escape artist

I love her scars
and her yellow teeth,
the smell of cotton candy
and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs
which is gummed to her clothes
like the stench of poverty

we meet in the Atlantic Motel
most weekends
and fuck in the gloom
while the TV plays the weather
24-7, and neon Vacancy
blinks outside in rhythm
to our thrusts

she used to be beautiful

but recently came to me
with 5 fingers; the extras
stitched on by a surgeon,
and with teeth whitened by
a midtown dentist

but still I come back to her
and laugh with her
even though something has changed

the feel of five fingers
against the nape of my neck
fills me with a certain anxiety

yesterday she announced her plans
to have electrolysis
to clean up her chin permanently,
to attend AA meetings to curb her
guzzlment of cheap fortified wine,

and she asked me-
do you still love me?

fool that I am
I had to answer “yes”

I will return
I suppose
drawn by the memory
of what once was
even though her skin
now has the artificial smoothness
of silicone
and her tongue
has the flat, indistinct
taste of plastic

Tony O'Neill

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