DONALD RAWLEY

Mulholland Drive 

It's midnight on Mulholland Drive. 
You and I race 
beyond the guard rails 
where coyotes kiss 
under sudden red warnings. 

I am a raven haired whore 
trapped in a fast, 
black Jaguar, 
a smear on the windshield. 

I am a deliberate masquerade. 

My house is scrubbed with rum. 
In an airless bedroom 
I watch for you 
on bed sheets 
lousy with lies. 

You, with clinical blue eyes 
and a surgeon's lips; 
you are the time of my life; 
you are a back door kiss. 

You hiss and spray, 
your chest dancing 
like a lazy debutante. 

Your whisper is cool and false 
as a eunuch's tongue. 

This is delicious guilt, 
tended wisely, 
with hothouse tactics 
complex in mute rule. 

I have grown my tom cat garden 
with expectant palms, 
a blind moon, 
and clenched thighs. 

I can stretch my claws 
and assassinate memory. 

This tryst opens my skin, 
a painted wound, 
pornographic and hollow. 
This is ancient folly, 
elusive, and moist 
as a burial ground. 

It's midnight on Mulholland Drive. 
In my house above the rain clouds 
I wait for you 
with dark glasses 
in a mirrored room. 

We have always understood the immediate. 
You and I. 


I lay by you in 
this tinny blue gulf 
of conquered air 
in the last frieze 
of our static night. 

Your pant invades 
the morning damp 
in hot twisted acacia, 
in tethered reeds near 
steaming, still-lit swimming pools. 

You are the curl of fog 
hiding my naked ache. 
I want the sting 
of your arms 
and the music 
of your concrete pulse. 

I've smelled this dawn before. 

It's black leather and angora, 
broken glass, and burned-out bulbs. 

I fear your perfume 
and the itch of your blonde beard, 
fat, and petulant 
as your probing loins. 

My memory is 
acid and salt. 
I store your face 
in a box of 
tortoise and ebony. 

It is a delirious face 
wanton and marked with my breath. 
You stretch with the ease 
of a hypocrite. 
You say nothing when you come. 

Touch my back of oiled wood. 
I have the wet hide 
of a transient. 
I am all bedroom eyes, weak teeth, 
and shaked out legs. 

I will polish your hips 
into powder. 
I will make your ass a movie star. 

I can be bought. 


It's rattlesnake season on Mulholland Drive. 

They are the percussion 
of the Santa Ana, 
odalisques of night, 
a swarm of heavy bellies 
rubbing the cool grit 
of a dark, dry road. 

Coiled on limestone verandahs, 
under oriental rock borders, 
and behind electric gates, 
the sleep beyond the sprinklers. 

Do not walk this 
road of constant turns, 
you can't follow the 
squirm of the yellow line. 

You drive from the west 
from cliffs rotten 
with dim sunsets. 
You enjoy speeding east, 
entering my soil and shade. 

I fall into your skills. 
You with the rolling muscles 
of an anaconda, 
with a pure kiss, 
exact as a bite. 
I am lost in your 
treacherous limbs. 

I sit on Mulholland Drive 
amidst pines and lemon trees, 
grouped like school children. 
I am always alone. 


Baby I can keep secrets 
like jewels in a velvet case. 
I am the endless cirque, 
the lure of the flowered rope, 
and padded swing. 
I seldom give everything. 

I want to flutter 
your eyelids when you sleep. 
I want to make 
your solitary pounding 
a bracelet that fits. 

I want to meet your wife. 
You and I, cagey and right. 
I want to feel her eyes 
like a blind prophet. 
I am cruel with 
embraces and promises. 

And I with boxes and mirrors 
and jewels and glances that run, 
I still wait, 
watch for your car. 

You who drives without headlights, 
you who sheds color; 
you are the slam of a Cadillac door, 
you are the last twist in the road; 
you are the shine of speed 
and the trouble with virgins; 
the reason I sit with my body 
and cry, 
the history I repeat, 
the sunsets and oceans I sometimes see 
when the day is clear of you, 
when my nights are stuck 
between your legs, 
and my mornings are full of fog. 

You ask me who I am. 
I am more than enough.

 

Mecca 1991, Black Tie Press. All rights reserved.

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Los Angeles Three AM

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