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18 January 2010 @ 01:38 pm
Little Beast – Richard Siken  


    An all-night barbeque. A dance on the courthouse lawn.
            The radio aches a little tune that tells the story of what the night
    is thinking. It's thinking of love.
                                                            It's thinking of stabbing us to death
    and leaving our bodies in a dumpster.
          That's a nice touch, stains in the night, whiskey kisses for everyone.

    Tonight, by the freeway, a man eating fruit pie with a buckknife
            carves the likeness of his lover's face into the motel wall. I like him
    and I want to be like him, my hands no longer an afterthought.


    Someone once told me that explaining is an admission of failure.
            I'm sure you remember, I was on the phone with you, sweetheart.


    History repeats itself. Somebody says this.
                    History throws its shadow over the beginning, over the desktop,
    over the sock drawer with its socks, its hidden letters.
                                                            History is a little man in a brown suit
          trying to define a room he is outside of.
    I know history. There are many names in history
                                                                                      but none of them are ours.


    He had green eyes,
                                         so I wanted to sleep with him
          green eyes flicked with yellow, dried leaves on the surface of a pool--
    You could drown in those eyes, I said.
                                                                                      The fact of his pulse,
    the way he pulled his body in, out of shyness or shame or a desire
          not to disturb the air around him.
    Everyone could see the way his muscles worked,
                                         the way we look like animals,
                                                                        his skin barely keeping him inside.
            I wanted to take him home
    and rough him up and get my hands inside him, drive my body into his
          like a crash test car.
                            I wanted to be wanted and he was
    very beautiful, kissed with his eyes closed, and only felt good while moving.
          You could drown in those eyes, I said,
                                                                                      so it's summer, so it's suicide,
    so we're helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.


    It wasn't until we were well past the middle of it
          that we realized
    the old dull pain, whose stitched wrists and clammy fingers,
                                                                                      far from being subverted,
    had only slipped underneath us, freshly scrubbed.
                    Mirrors and shop windows returned our faces to us,
            replete with tight lips and the eyes that remained eyes
                                                    and not the doorway we had hoped for.
    His wounds healed, the skin a bit thicker that before,
          scars like train tracks on his arms and on his body underneath his shirt.


    We still groped for each other on the backstairs or in parked cars
                                                                                                    as the road around us
    grew glossy with ice and our breath softened the view through the glass
               already laced with frost,
    but more frequently I was finding myself sleepless, and he was running out of
    But damn if there isn't anything sexier
                                         than a slender boy with a handgun,
                                                                                      a fast car, a bottle of pills.


    What would you like? I'd like my money's worth.
                                           Try explaining a life bundled with episodes of this--
          swallowing mud, swallowing glass, the smell of blood
    on the first four knuckles.
                                                            We pull our boots on with both hands
    but we can't punch ourselves awake and all I can do
                    is stand on the curb and say Sorry
                                                             about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine.

    I couldn't get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time.

    Richard Siken
Jonascat: shitpolitelypuzzled on September 7th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
I've loved this poem for an extremely long time and am so thrilled that you feel the same

its terrifyingly beautiful isnt it darling?
nufaacme on April 14th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
Love your site man keep up the good work