Not a peignoir, but Ted's old T-shirt,
a tear on the sleeve and a stain on the
collar. The coffee, three days old,
stagnates on the counter beside the
wrinkling oranges, the peel oozes where
the cockatoo pecked through to pulp.
If, like a vulture, it wants something
dead inside, I could provide a nutritious
meal. But it will not rescue me.
The bird chatters endlessly to the
clatter of madly pealing church bells.
There is no hope in things: what then
can lie in shadows and words of hell
from a screaming preacher? I could tell
them that hell is not a place; hell is the
condition I was born with. Hell is the
malignancy that controls my identity.
Hell does not care about lace nightgowns,
delicate coffees or succulent oranges.
Nor does a cheerful bird penetrate its
bounds. One day I will shoot that bird
and chant gleefully around its corpse
so that it will no longer mock me.
I will juggle eroding oranges in the air
and splatter decaying coffee as the bells
gong, gong, gong, far away in a place
where heaven exists only because
people are scared of hell. I'm not.
Mephisto has danced with me and soothed
me with his rage. I will inhale coffee
and gnaw at oranges while the cockatoo
dangles in silence. It will be my turn.