Song For A Red Nightgown

No. Not really red, but the color of a rose when it bleeds. It's a lost flamingo, called somewhere Schiaparelli Pink but not meaning pink, but blood and those candy store cinnamon hearts. It moves like capes in the unflawed villages in Spain. Meaning a fire layer and underneath, like a petal, a sheath of pink, clean as a stone.

So I mean a nightgown of two colors and of two layers that float from the shoulders across every zone. For years the moth has longed for them but these colors are bounded by silence and animals, half hidden but browsing. One could think of feathers and not know it at all. One could think of whores and not imagine the way of a swan. One could imagine the cloth of a bee and touch its hair and come close.

The bed is ravaged by such sweet sights. The girl is. The girl drifts up out of her nightgown and its color. Her wings are fastened onto her shoulders like bandages. The butterfly owns her now. It covers her and her wounds. She is not terrified of begonias or telegrams but surely this nightgown girl, this awesome flyer, has not seen how the moon floats through hei and in between.


Today is the day they shipped home our summer in two crates and tonight is All Hallows Eve and today you tell me the oak leaves outside your office window will outlast the New England winter. But then, love is where our summer was.

Though I never touched a rifle, love was under the canvas, deep in the bush of Tanzania.

Though I only carried a camera, love came after the gun, after the kill, after the martinis and the eating of the kill.

While Saedi, a former cannibal, served from the left in his white gown and red fez,

I vomited behind the dining tent.

Love where the hyena laughed in the middle of nowhere except the equator. Love!

Yet today our dog is full of our dead dog's spirit and limps on three legs, holding up the dead dog's paw. Though the house is full of candy bars the wasted ghost of my parents is poking the keyhole, rubbing the bedpost. Also the ghost of your father, who was killed outright. Tonight we will argue and shout, "My loss is greater than yours! My pain is more valuable!"

Today they shipped home our summer in two crates wrapped in brown waxed paper and sewn in burlap. The first crate holds our personal effects, sweaty jackets, 3 lb. boots from the hold of the S.S. MORMACRIO by way of Mombassa, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Lourence Marques and Zanzibar, through customs along with the other merchandise: ash blonde sisal like horse's tails, and hairy strings, bales of grease wool from the auctions at Cape Town and something else. BonesI

Bones piled up like coal, animal bones shaped like golf balls, school pencils, fingers and noses. Oh my Nazi, with your S.S. sky-blue eye — I am no different from Emily Goering. Emily Goering recently said she thought the concentration camps were for the re-education of Jews and Communists. She thought! So far the continents stay on the map but there is always a new method.

The other crate we own is dead. Bones and skins from Hold # 1 going to New York for curing and mounting. We have not touched these skulls since a Friday in Arusha where skulls lay humbly beside the Land Rover, flies still sucking on eye pits, all in a row, head by head, beside the ivory that cost more than your life. The wildebeest skull, the eland skull, the Grant's skull, the Thomson's skull, the impala skull and the hartebeest skull, on and on to New York along with the skins of zebras and leopards.

And tonight our skins, our bones, that have survived our fathers, will meet, delicate in the hold, fastened together in an intricate lock. Then one of us will shout, "My need is more desperate!" and I will eat you slowly with kisses even though the killer in you has gotten out.

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