(Dixon Chisholm confides in his dip tin,
charts the protracted decay of his senescent foreskin.)

Dixon Petrarchus Chisholm
(to whom, once, love was
crushing a cherry in
moldering porcelain):

who’d hobbled my optimism,
my dowser’s wand, my
old Kentuckian flintlock
screwed and jackknifed over
the breast
                    of a twisted
chestnut, children
hardly-freckled hearts with just plum
sticky fingers, tracing
a thrawn and flaccid cross across
chalky alluvium,
itching illegible sigils
in curd-colored mud
for just some glumly bloodless, bonafide
godhead’s chapped chagrin—oyez,
and there’s that ratkinged bastard again,
no more than a polyp, a pip,
a fizzling teratoma equipped with missing teeth
displaced, effaced, nay, feckless—

worn to a stammering dollop of dachshund dander,
Samson scalped—! with a suppling spall of obsidian
combing a throttling cat’s tongue,
strident steel set straight on a taut and sodden strop!

what gutless escutcheons coldly contorted to crucibles
curbing a key’s perfected teeth
                  to the puddling gums of a balding malamute,

baleen bitterly tickling tedious dust
from a bustle left cudding some suppling
                boring its glans through the
                marl and sand for
                   fear or futures—

a bald cap swaddling sun-ravished jellyfish,
foil that’s shucked from a condom,
a condom’s condom!
the moldering plinth of a hang nail
swollen and red as the
sheepshanked stems of canned maraschinos
curled up like a snakeskin—

pain, profound, preponderant, pulsing…

pain, percussing a plummeting vein
          of obsidian pitched from an osseous pimple—

pain, the gluttonous echo of prattling waves
unwound around shapeless peaks and parapets
pressured from pointed sand.

Pusillanimous paean of plangent change
in a viciously limpid wind sock rawed,
a sarcophagus cobbled from skin sloughed,
thin as a lustrous, comely, cumbrous leer,
that skin peeled pale and clean
from a stone-scuffed knee
laid out among frothing rocks,
        demurred by the cringing crayfish,
        testy terns, those hobbling fiddlers
                               gods had spurned by
                               cracking their claws across gormless coral,

spry lyre of love or this
lyre of louring personhood punched
to a crinkling wasp’s nest—

this skulking conch I’d cribbed for a codpiece,
bunged with a plainly unfungible thing, and, yet,
here, now, as quick as a cork’s popped, squarely
deformed to a worming and gormless
flange found brutishly bilboed betwixt but
crackling alice blue lips of a maxima

(then licking a butchered wad of chaw
he’d tongued between puckering gums and fumaroles,
wincing like Sam the Lion
confiding in children
his time in the tank)

—we’ll take to the desert then, though
lo! the castrated scorpions!
                        their tails dissembling
broken bull’s whips,
                                   pizzles uncoiled
and rent,
                 relevant solely
in grossest affliction,
mesas blunted, shorn to but bumbling stumps,
and the mumbling tumbleweeds tethered
               to every aberrant sneeze
no wretched erection dares
                appease, or
bend at the
                     knee to

— where went those tors of foreskin sloughed
that rivaled the cock-beaded eaves of Sinai?

what grew of such sun-sucked dust,
this splintered sage,
the spluttering yucca depressed
by pale and nefarious flowers distressing
so lissome and slender a sulking stock?

Death Valley sits
scarce fathoms under
the merrily crinolined hem
of each boisterous sea disturbed
by but stalwart rocks, and
yet, by the way that the gila’s mocking me,
maybe old Noah was on to something,

maybe the sacral sweat
of Sanger and Mary
might just drown me yet—

(and his dip spittle slopped on a scalding stone,
recalling Khadijah and Brigid enthroned upon
snickering plinths of jet and jade, and,
burst from the bubbles the heat had bade,
were shreds of a small and stalwart song—
and Dixon swore it was “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”
and mistakenly twiddled)

                                              —what’s meant by, this—