I. See See Rider
I walked the rim of the park all night, looking for the right horse. By the Plaza the hansom cabs lined up like hopefuls in a hobo pageant. The night was not a Dickensian violet. I had many of Caesar’s coins in my purse.
Later, alone with the horse, I asked him to tell me about the Andalusian mesa. “Seen one mesa, seen them all,” said the horse. “You seem like a horse of integrity,” I said. “I’ll look you up when the atrocities resume.” When, from behind his ear, I brandished a silver dollar and held it up in the light, he went still deeper in his sorrow.
“The world is ending,” he said. “And they’re all of them blaming me.”
II. Dark Was the Night Cold Was the Ground
In the spring of that year I gave birth to my own father. I ascended the C train platform at W. 81st and there he stood, smothered in amniotic fluid. We greeted each other like comrades and went inside the museum. “The dinosaurs were here for 165 million years, achieving nothing,” he said. “QED there is no God.”
Someone took a photo of my father and me frowning in front of the stegosaurus. “We created God because we know we will die, and for no other reason,” I told the person who took the picture, adding “The derelict world persists in both directions.” The photographer slapped my father, who began, at once, to cry.
III. Black Snake Moan
I had an ugly need and an hour to kill so I headed to 8th Avenue. Times are emptying out. 300 bucks got me 20 minutes of dry-humping in a mirrored closet. Her Balkans accent kept slipping, and she would not cede the ultimate G-string. “Eet is law here,” she said, with mixed success. “I was led to believe,” I cooed, “that 3 slabs of honey would rent for us a lawless zone.” Her gyrations turned sympathetic. “Eet ees not.” After a while, of course, it began to hurt. “Do whatever you want to my body,” I said, “besides this.”
So I wouldn’t mistake it for spite, she used something silk to bind my hands.
IV. Honey Hush
For my last meal I requested Memphis women and fried chicken. “You’re a murderer, fine,” they said, “but must you use this Otherizing rhetoric?” At the end of the last mile, bells ring. “Bring me a girl from Corpus Christi who smells like suntan oil, bring me slices of salted cucumber & hummus, let me have a Porteña tango teacher who giggles uncontrollably, give me melted butter on rye.” I shook the bars at the devil’s gate. “It’s my last meal. Blackberries and rosehip tea. A girl named Cáterine. Then kill me. (Let me be eight years old, climbing the apple tree with a barefoot green-eyed freckled girl.) Fry my brains and have the women weep. Bring me two cigarettes O Lord and a tumbler of scotch. I am a sick animal. But dammit I still got taste.”
That warden will return any minute. And then, by God, we’ll see.