Golem Branle

by Katharine Mills

while the lying air teases
flowers from winter mud --
pulling out my secrets
with asking eyes.

Boxed and drenched with waiting
you become a shy creature
of paved-over nights
and hidden days.
The shape of our stories shapes
desire -- ecstasy surprising you --
all engineered to draw you down
into a tightening spiral
of joy.
Soaked in sweat the
taste of you is sweet
and familiar --
I do not know its name.

You gave me a word:
Now stand up, startled
from your cardboard lair.

Do not trust me.
In my mind's hand
I hold you thus obedient:
  ‚ bite
 Â ‚lie
with me or to me -- see
if I will taste it on you.

(I'd like a silicon-clay
doll obedient to my command,
leaping to answer
till my perpetual demands
fry the circuitry.)

Do you not see how
I'd entrap you in
impossible nets of
dominating submission?

blinding the mind's eye
with subliminal communication,
sublimating my abnegation
into your invention,
making you the framework
for my decadent damnations --
make me
something, please --
a word to create me or
redeem me...

From out the worm-
seething loam springs
a carnivorous liana, entwined and
heavy with succulent fruit,
sickly-sweet with fermentation, poisoned
by too much lonely self-
of interior decay.

You fray a little more
each time I touch you,
into tendril nerves
tangled round an angular
Sparks purl from your flywheels,
while the electric charge in your
jointed frame pulses migraine
in my head.

I'll earth you all right --
in red-stained mud -- send
the jolt down into black
water, salt as blood
but cloudy.

Stripping the flesh from
my finger-ends
I gather enough
for the manikin.
Bulk it out with cat hair.
The blood is easy enough.

I shape it over your jittering
steels and wires, the thick
slick clay matting on my hands --
boned curve of shoulder, hollow
at the hip-bone.
Smooth the back
across secret trapezius wings.
Drape your silent form in
ragged black, the
current and the voltage

I've not enough letters.
Without the word,
it's nothing.
Asking -- I ask
till the answers grow shorter,
till I vanish into the
silence, the wet mud
closes and I am alone
in the crawling egg
of my skull.

The ozone stink
as the thing shorts out
catches in my throat,
incinerating secrets.
No use for them now.
The vortex
goes nowhere but into
the dark.

Katharine Mills writes even more poems these days since she started sleeping under a skylight. She's been addicted to words since earliest childhood; the poetry is only a side effect.

Her favorite fruit is the strawberry, under certain circumstances.

Back to the Table of Contents.