The Persistence of Memory


              for Gala Dali


who raged water electricity and heat when the shack had none


              who fried her pet rabbit and fucked like an electric eel


who wore a cathedral on her head


                            whose head was a throne towering over gables

              and domes of the Mediterranean and sometimes a head of snakes


who bartered bills and paid for bruised fruit


                                          whose second husband named her a tree of names that grew

              no fruit only long stalks dangling from branches


who ten years his senior squeezed herself

              into his mouth so she could inhabit his body


              who walked naked and ate naked and swam naked

                                          and whose nipples were the needles of a compass

                            pointing always toward the dirt but also out to sea


who night after night dreamt only of the sea and the surf

                            curving around her like a hook


                            who was born from the barrel of a horse


who was born outside a womb to many fathers


                                          whose bones grew conical like the horns of a rhinoceros

              which she pulled painful from her mouth like an armory

                            of bayonets, until she had no bones and her mouth refused to close


who fucked Paul Élutard and Max Ernest and Jeff Fenholt and their lovers


              who fucked body shivering white clover in the breeze


who shivering climbed a staircase of vertebrae

                                          and disassembled the earth into spheres


                            who committed herself to antiseptic rooms that her lovers

              wandered in their nightmares and that she rearranged when the moon

                                          slivered over the roof until the lovers were lost in darkness


who saw Jesus crucified at Port Lligat in darkness and the sea was whistling


              who bound to a tree bled roses from her uterus

                            as a shadow cast over her and a parenthesis closed

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